Friday, December 13, 2013

A Moment of Silence.

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 Warning,  Achtung!

There may be images in the slide show below that could be  disturbing to you, or to your children.

We made a pilgrimage to Dachau today ---to pay our respects to those who lost their lives to the  unbelievable and unbearable cruelty of others.

I have been posting updates in the order that they happened while on this trip so that I would not forget anything, or miss posting about something and keeping things in order.

But after returning from Dachau, I feel the need to post this now ---while my feelings are still raw.

God bless them, every one.

And God bless US, every one.

Every. Single. One.

No matter the nationality, the religion, the education, the financial status, the birth caste or right –there are places in the world where this still goes on.

We have not learned.  We have not stopped it.

This could happen to any of us.

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Part of my group walking where prisoners stood for hours in the freezing winter  during roll call.

It’s one thing to visit Dachau in the summer months – but quite another to visit when the temps are hovering just above freezing.  We had coats and hats and gloves and scarves and insulated boots.  One shudders to think of the reality of winter between 1933 – 1945.

And my heart hurts.

I am putting the photos into a slide show.  Without further words from me.  I am not narrating this.  I cannot.  I cannot find the words to make sense of anything when it comes to this.

Click the image below if you are unable to view the slide show on your mobile device.  You will be taken directly to the photo album.

Dachau, Germany 2013

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55 comments:

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

my sister visited one of these camps on a trip to Europe several years ago and she said it was the saddest place on earth -

Marly Rylaars said...

I lived for two years near Bergen Belsen in the early nineteen-seventies. Although the camp was in the middle of a forest, there were no birds singing the afternoon I was there. Colleagues said no birds ever sang there.

Blessed said...

No words can express my grief and sorrow - just tears. Thank you for sharing.

Momma said...

My father was one of the first US Service men to arrive at Dachau. I won't go into the details he told but I will say I've always had great respect for him. He passed away 23 years ago my hero.

Jackie said...

My heart is heavy.. And no, some have learned nothing ...

Crickets Corner said...

Such a sad chapter in history. Thousands of lives needlessly taken all because of one man's ego. It never ceases to amaze me at the cruelty that humans can bestow on other humans. The saving grace is that there are others willing to sacrifice everything in order to save the downtrodden and oppressed.

Sharon said...

When I was in high school my dad was stationed in Germany with the Air Force. On our summer vacation one summer, we went to Dachau (along with other places) and I also will never forget that feeling. Even though I was 16, it has stuck with me all these years.

Myrna said...

Although this is a sad, terrible place, I'm glad it wasn't torn down and stands today as a stark reminder to all that we must never stop fighting against oppression and evil. Thank you Bonnie for sharing this with us.

Shirley said...

My husbands father was one of the liberators he told that it was awful. So sad.

Deb M said...

what a sad & tragic place, your images are so strong, my heart aches for the innocents-- you can hear their cries & feel their bewilderment Deb M

Lucie said...

I have been in Theresienstadt, still can't forget what I've seen there.They say this was a 'friendly'camp, comparing to Dachau, etc..... People lived there like in a little town, even the Red Cross didn't see what was going on..... people died there because of starvation, etc. or were been deportated..... I still can't forget what I felt,..... Sadly enough the world didn't change much....

Pauline Lentsment said...

We visited Auschwitz in Poland where my husband’s Grandfather was murdered we left a card and a stone there in remembrance of him . It was an amazing (in a mind blowing experience knowing what had happened here I kept thinking how could this be.) place to visit it was so hard for my husband knowing that his grandfather never left this place.

Maree said...

There truly are no words. May their souls rest in peace.

nannasaquiltin' said...

My heart is heavy & my eyes are wet after looking at these photos. Thank you for sharing them Bonnie. Sadly the world hasn't learnt anything from these past actions.
Robyn

Kate said...

Bless you, Bonnie.

JaneB said...

My father went to Germany with the Air Force Reserve in the 1960's and 70's and he brought back pictures of Dachau and showed them to us as kids. We learned how awful human beings can be to one another and you are right this happens every day around our small world. When will we learn to live in peace with one another?

Prima Donna said...

I too am speechless.

MtnBarb65 said...

Thank you Bonnie. I'll never be able to see that place or those like it but am glad you chose to post the images. It makes me grateful that I was born who and what I am and live in this great nation no matter what side of politics you support. Thank You!

Audrac said...

My heart breaks when I think about what happen in those horrid places. However, that wasn't the worst of it! You should read "The Remnant : Stories of the Jewish Resistance in WWII". It's heartbreaking, but also shows the amazing courage of the Europeans!

Mary Ellen said...

Sadly it wasn't just one man's ego that caused this. He had many who collaborated and supported him.

Julie said...

I was there in winter too. I lived in Germany for a few years. I remember feeling ill the entire time I was there. So much sadness still surrounds it. I didn't look at the slide show, I have pictures of my own, so I don't know if you met any of the survivors. Although I realize they most likely are not around anymore... sometimes I forget that 16 yrs has passed. We were fortunate to get to talk to one of the survivors of Dachau. Was completely stunned at his courage.

The Calico Quilter said...

Thank you Bonnie. We must say it again and again and so people cannot forget what atrocities happened such a short time ago. Soon all those who lived through this horror and all who fought to stop it will be gone, and with it their memories and eyewitness testimony. The spirits of the Jews, the Roma, the dissidents, the handicapped, the homosexuals, the political prisoners, the resistance fighters and all those who died here cannot speak; we must be their voice. Never again.

Judy Brennan said...

What a horrible thing the people did to humans. SO sad. Bonnie, perhaps in time you can share what these pictures are for those of us who haven't had been there. Were the birds chirping? Has life returned to this area? Such atrocities took place here. Thanks for sharing, even though this was very painful.

Bj said...

My heart is heavy for you, for the people who died here and as well, for the German people who now live with this legacy. You are right in saying that things like this still go on. None of us should turn a blind eye, we must all speak out against such atrocities and do whatever it takes to prevent it from happening to another of God's creatures, be it human or animal.

Sewing In CT said...

Bonnie - what a sad reality check during the schloss dream vacation. Words fail me too.
We learned what happened in school but those photos have significantly more impact.
My German from school is still good enough to read those signs :(
Tonight is the eve of Sandy Hook massacre here in CT. It is a very sad time. Governor Malloy says to remember the slain by performing acts of kindness. Maybe the answer is somewhere in that.

Carol Morrissey said...

I've been there, too. Despite knowing about the horrors of Dachau our entire adult lives, or thinking that we know about them, seeing the brick and mortar makes the reality of Dachau numbing and terrifying.

Kathy said...

My husband and I chaperoned a Sister City trip our son's high school band made back in the 90's. Dachau was one of our stops and it made quite an impression on all of us but especially the kids. I likened it to a religious experience. This fun-loving, somewhat rambunctious group of teenagers were almost instantly quiet and reverent. It was something we had all heard and/or read about but actually being there made it all very real and heartbreaking.

sandi s said...

I visited Dachau about 30 years ago when we where stationed in Germany. It is palace I will never forget. It was so quiet, you felt the sadness in the air.

Helen Tulip said...

It is also important to remember that there was immense death and suffering at the hands of the Japanese especially in Singapore. We don't hear anything about that nowadays, but it is important to realize that the Germans were not the only ones to act inhumanly. War seems to bring out the best and worst of humanity. We must never forget, and sites like this help to show us, Helen

Eileen said...

I've never been to Dachau, but I went to the Holocaust Museum in DC a few years ago. My daughter became ill halfway through and was overwhelmed. It was heartbreaking to know what was done to so many people.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

Ann in PA said...

Thank you for sharing your feelings and the photos. We must never forget...and we must learn to speak up against hate. Bless you!

Deanna W said...

Makes a person stop and think and wonder how someone could do that to another living being. And there are people in the world who say it never happened...then what are all these places.Thanks for showing us all of your trip ...the good and not so good.

Melinda said...

I have been to Dachu twice, the first time there was snow on the ground & bitter winds. Such a sad place. Have you seen the "touchstones" in any towns you have visited. They are small brass markers in the sidewalk in front of homes where people from the Holocaust lived before they were taken to the concentration camps. The markers say the people's names, birth date, what camp & death date.

Teri Reymann said...

Thank you for sharing your photos with us, Bonnie. I agree with you...the atrocities that happened there were horrid. And yes, unfortunately, it still goes on in parts of the world. Lord, save us from ourselves!! Thank you for sharing your trip with us! My roots are in Ireland. I will never go there, but it is always nice to take a trip vicariously through others!

Donna Holloway said...

My dad was in an armored tank division during WWII. He was actively involved in breaking up several concentration camps and freeing the prisoners. He said it was the most awful thing in the world to go in and see the condition the people who were imprisoned there were in. Even to his death in 2007, he said that when he thought of it, he could still smell the stink of death. He wouldn't talk about some of the things he saw, said it was too terrible to relive, although he wished he could have gone back over there to see things again during peace time. I am so proud to know that he was part of the campaign that freed these camps. He was and will always be my hero. Thank you for sharing!

deelish10 said...

I lived in Frankfurt in 1970-71 and we visited dachau along with other Bavarian towns. it seems that the village has gotten closer by the pics your are showing and that more memorials have been built and buildings restored. it is still in my memory very much and I miss the people I knew there some with tattooed numbers. humanity at it's most horrible.

CathyQuilts said...

I went to Germany in 2007 for one of our international family reunions, our travel itinerary took us all over Bavaria and it was quite a nice trip. We had some spare time on the last day and some of the American cousins decided to visit Dachau and I considered it, wanting to pay my respects, but in the end I decided not to. Thank you for sharing these, I felt I could trust what you selected to post.

I loved visiting the old castles, such history

Momma/Deb said...

I am paraphrasing: All that's needed for evil to flourish, is for good people to do nothing. And........first they came for those others and I did nothing............." In their honor, let's vow to stop hatred in our own space and like a ripple in a pond, it will spread. Let goodness and mercy radiate from each of us....and the world will change. We have the power! Thank you Bonnie for this reminder.
Hugs, Deb

Quiltgypsy said...

Thank you, Bonnie. Especially at this time of year, we tend to lay aside the sad memories of our world. This photo walk through Dachau serves to remind us that all in our world is not evergreen trees, candles, and twinkling lights. Although in 1945 the world pledged to remember, many have forgotten, and some even deny the holocaust ever happened. Trips like yours are important reminders that the blind hatred and senseless slaughter were very real, and the same emotions and actions still exist today. Brave acts such as yours will always help us remember and belatedly mourn for those who were lost. Thank you.

Karen Kluwin said...

The pictures you share are haunting.....something no one should ever, ever forget! Sad to say I know a few people who "survived" these horrors. It's even sadder to see someone's arm with numbers tattooed on it. I shuddered inside the first time I saw that. The survivors are an amazing bunch of people. Not too many left.
Thank you for sharing this bit of history.
Safe travels, Karen

Julie Vernon said...

Oh Bonnie, we toured Dachau also. What a harrowing experience.

In South Florida as I was growing up, there were many people who had survived "the camps" with tattoos on their arms. It still sends chills down my spine to even think of that time.

The very fact the people of Bavaria have opened this place, and told about it as they have, is mind boggling. They have 'owned up". And yes, we ALL should never forget, lest it happen again.

JulieinTN

Penny said...

Bonnie, referring to Helen's comment, my Dad was on the Kokoda Trail. He would not talk about it until he was in his late 70's. Some of the things he saw were heartbreaking!! I thank God he was never taken a prisoner as his memorizes would have been horrific if he had survived those atrocities. Also my Mother's boyfriend at the time (they were planning to marry after the war) was blown up on one of the ships in Pearl Harbour. It is the evil harboured in some peoples hearts that makes them do such horrible things to their fellow man.

Yolande95 said...

Thank you Bonnie

Kerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kerry said...

I´m from Germany. I visited the concentration camp Buchenwald as a 15 year old girl in 1978. And the pictures are still in my mind. 5 years later I talked to a survivor. It was so sad and I cried nearly the whole time of her speech. I will never forget this.
Thank you Bonnie for sharing the pictures.

Kathy said...

I have just finished reading Jodi Picoult's book The Storyteller which is about this time in history. I could not put the book down. Highly recommend in light of Bonnie's visit to Dachau.

Michele McCullough said...

Very sobering. My dad and uncles were in the Big One as they put it. All first or second generation German. My Uncle Art was a POW in a concentration camp. When they were liberated he wouldn't let them tell the family he had been found because of his fear that he would not live he was so emaciated. It took a long time for him to recover but he finally got to go home. All this time no one at home knew he was alive. My mom said that Grandma nearly died of fright and happiness at the same time when he walked up to the door of the house. There are millions of stories.

Now Belgium is going to allow the euthanasia of handicapped children. It's actually already going on, their law is just trying to catch up. That was the same slippery slope that Hitler stood on when he first started his extermination campaign.

The article is half way down this page.

http://www.catholic.org/hf/faith/story.php?id=53544

Aliceart said...

Thank you for this, Bonnie. I hope to visit one day not because I want to, but out of respect for all those victims. The sculptures are incredible; they speak volumes.

Lisa said...

I toured one of these camps over 30 years ago and still remember the horrific feeling. It makes me angry when I hear someone say that the Holocaust didn't happen. Thanks for the beautiful tribute in photos.

Quiltingloulou said...

These camps all seem to have the same eerie feeling on visiting. I have been to Buchenwald both in the winter and in the summer and what is so noticeable in both seasons is the deathful quiet. Yes, no birds ever do sing in the area, even when the trees are in full leaf in summer. These are dreadful places and the sadness I felt for all the innocent people put to death and the few who survived the horrendous happenings made me really humble. Thank you for posting this section. I really feel that it is something we should never forget.
Linda.

Mary Colgin said...

My father was in Japan, but said horrors there were just as bad. I have such true respect for the men who served to fight for freedom. Sadly, these horrors need to be remembered in order to prevent their happening again.

Art by Rhoda Forbes said...

I just finished reading 'The Book Thief" last night, would remind you of where you are in these pics...Dachau was mentioned meany times as they marched the Jewish people through the small German town. A sad period in our history, by the way a fabulous read.

susan718 said...

and it was millions, not thousands

Michele McCullough said...

"It has been said that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing."

Charles Fredrick Aked 1916

How true that is.

Sue said...

Thank you for posting this, Bonnie. For those of us who have no personal experience, it is powerful. The words you typed that hit me the hardest, though, were:

"We have not learned. We have not stopped it.

This could happen to any of us."

My husband is first-generation American, and his family is from Japan. They were interred in the US during WWII, both his mother's and father's families, when his parents were teenagers. Due to our very own country's fear and ignorance. My husband's grandmother lost her life in the camp, due to lack of healthcare.

We all need to remember, and study history, so that we can prevent these things from happening again. Peace.