Our visit to Sachsenhausen Concentration camp was as one would expect – dark and somber. Continue reading “Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp”
I was supposed to write a blog about Sachsenhausen after I went to see it. That was over two weeks ago, and I still haven’t written anything out. I guess I just don’t want to talk about it. It was a very powerful experience and it made me realize just how forgettable my life is to others. Walking through the camp I realized how many people were there, and how many people died there. At many of the camps and museums, there are several stories of people who did not survive the horrors of the Holocaust. Thousands upon thousands of people whose life is summarized into a paragraph. Continue reading “Better Late than Never”
Recently I visited one of the many concentration camps that were used during World War II. There was a lot of history to a place like that. Each students was given an audio tour and I spent my time just standing in the middle of the camp and listening to all of the stories that were there to be heard. Throughout the trip I constantly questioned how anyone could ever justify the evil actions that were done in concentration camps, even if they thought that it could be beneficial to their country. Continue reading “Reflections on The Concentration Camp at Sachsenhausen”
When we were in school, we all learned about the horrible events that occurred during the Holocaust. We learned of Hitler and his hatred for Jews. We learned that millions of innocent people were slaughtered for no good reason.
But these are Just facts.
To fully (or at most partially) understand the events that took place during that period means taking a visit to one of the locations where it all happened. Continue reading “Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp”
“Arbeit Macht Frei.” Those are the words that the prisoners saw upon entering the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. That is,“Work makes you free” (translated roughly) was the lie that welcomed those that came to Sachsenhausen at the ever dreaded Tower A.
This may be a little late, but our trip to Sachsenhausen was intense. A large amount of the camp was destroyed and most of the buildings are gone, but still some buildings remain and the history there will never go away. Going through the entrance of the camp at Gate A was powerful. Thinking about how many people saw and entered through that gate who would never leave the camp again caused me to tear up. The barbed wire, or at least the few sections that are still up, was rusted and the signs warning the prisoners to stay away were faded. The medical section of the camp gave some terrible stories. Continue reading “Always Learn From the Past”
When I learned about the Holocaust in history classes throughout middle and high school, I learned vague details that made it seem as if the Holocaust was just one simple point in history.
It was certainly enlightening to be able to visit both the holocaust museum and the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. These cites serve an important purpose, to honor the fallen and to warn us of past mistakes so that we might make better choices in the future. Walking through Berlin today, you would never have guessed at the horrors that happened here. The city has moved on, there are no signs pointing out famous WWII battle grounds or plaques commemorating events- just silent monuments and somber memorials.
Every time I take time to remember the events of the holocaust I am very sobered and reminded of the quote that roughly says, “one death is tragedy but a thousand deaths is only a number.” Continue reading “Holocaust Reflections”
Visiting the Holocaust museum and the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp initially left me shocked at the horrors committed by the Germans against Jews, homosexuals, and other minorities. Initially I wanted to blame the German people for the Holocaust, but I must believe that the problem is deeper than that. For me it served as a display of sin’s hold on humanity and our desperate need for a savior. Unfortunately, this genocide, while extensive, is not unique. As long as we as humans remain “fallen short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23) we will continue to do evil against one another.
Even if the problem is not specific for the German people, there have certainly been historical consequences for Germany. This event has not only shaped the German stereotype, but was a factor in the Allies’ occupation of Germany following the end of WWII. People believed that Germany, after provoking two global wars and attempting to “ethnically cleanse” their nation, needed to be controlled, at least temporarily. Also, as a result of the war, most historical buildings in larger cities are damaged or destroyed, leaving a constant reminder to those passing by.
I realize that I could only scratch the surface of the true horrors that were experienced by those caught in the Holocaust. I also realize that although this experience was sad and dark, it was good experience as well. It gave me an objective view of an important time of recent history, as well as showing me the true depths of human sin and our desperate need for Jesus.