Getting to Know my Homeland

I’m happy  to report that my vision of 40 some students barely making eye contact, sitting in their rooms playing videogames all day does not apply to this group of engineering students.  It has been a blast exploring Berlin with this team. Most of us are now able to effectively navigate ourselves around the city, although that knowledge did come at the price of getting lost a few times- shoutout to Madeline Dice.

Germany is very close to what I pictured. There is structure and order and if you don’t follow the rules you will get called out by the nearest native. The city is beautiful and full of life, and the food is hearty and unappetizing. I am still deciding which is worse- pork knuckle and  sauerkraut or the Knollcrest Dining Hall.

All in all this trip has already been one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for us.

Sachsenhausen

This is a blog question post from one of the students that requested this post to be anonymous.

Germany Trip- Blog Question 3   July 24, 2016

 

I truly never appreciate history in a sense from a classroom at school, but when I can actually be where history took place, it has a much greater meaning to me. Being able to walk where others have walked, or stand where others have stood makes history seem real. My experiences with museums are typically the same way. I enjoy them, but never actually appreciate them to the level I should. However, going to Sachsenhausen really opened my eyes to completely appreciate the things I have learned previously in classes or in museums.

My expectation going to the concentration camp was completely different than what I experienced. I went in expecting Sachsenhausen to look identical to how it was when it ran as a camp, except it was so empty. I couldn’t believe how big and open it looked. All of the barracks were outlined, but I struggled to imagine how the camp would have looked with all the buildings still up. In addition, I went in thinking that I would cry, but I didn’t. To be honest, I felt bad that I had not shed a single tear the entire time we were at Sachsenhausen or at the Holocaust Museum to the point where I was almost angry with myself. I figured that it would just hit me when I walked through the gates and listened to all of the horrific events that occurred, but it didn’t.  Over the past few days I have been trying to process why I was so upset that I didn’t cry?  I typically cry in movies which aren’t real, but this was exponentially worse and real. If I am being honest, I still am not sure why I didn’t cry, but I think it might be because I don’t want to imagine everything that occurred. I wanted to deny the fact that people could do such horrific things to other humans, but the sad truth is that it really did happen and is happening in our world still today.

 

 

Sachsenhausen

I went into Sachsenhausen without knowing what to expect.  As I wandered through the camp I wondered how people could do this.  The camp seemed huge, yet it held way more people than it ever was meant to, and it wasn’t even that large of a camp compared to others.  The number of people that died there in a month, pales in comparison to the number that died in a day at other camps.  Even as I was thinking of these things while in the camp, I didn’t feel like I thought I should.  The camp internally has been destroyed, and there was hardly any of the original left.  The part that made me feel the most was the foundations of the crematorium, one of the more intact remains of the main camp.  More than the huge memorial in the middle of the camp, the ruins of that crematorium carried the horror of what that camp was and why it should never happen again.

First Week in Germany

This first week in Germany has been great.  We were taken all over the place by the professors in the first few days to learn how to use the public transportation, as well as to learn how to find our way back to St. Michaels Heim.  Engineering and German classes have been taking much of our time, but we still have plenty of time to explore this new place.   Continue reading “First Week in Germany”

It has already been 10 days??

As our airplane touched down in Germany ten days ago and I saw the place that I would be spending the next six weeks, it finally hit me that this was happening. I was in a foreign country, 5000 miles from home with a group of people that I didn’t know super well yet. However, within a week I have adapted to the busy life here. From becoming comfortable with the bus and subway, to talking to locals despite the language barrier, finding beautiful trails to run on, eating lots of nutella and peanut butter sandwiches, and struggling through long days of class and homework together I have learned to love this experience I have embarked on along with the people I get to share it with and the city of Berlin.

Continue reading “It has already been 10 days??”