Dachau · Germany · Munich

Munich Part One: Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial

Being the huge history buff that James is, we started our little vacation just outside of Munich in Dachau. The top of his list while in Europe was to take in as much of the World War II sights as he could. We had already seen the Rally Grounds of Nuremberg, and now we were off to see the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial.

Bearing witness to a sight that saw so much brutality and violence was not high on my list. Some of the most atrocious crimes against humanity occurred here. However by the end of our self-guided tour, I was seeing things differently. As James, had said, “It’s one thing to read about it, learn about it, and see the documentaries; it’s another thing entirely to see it all for yourself.” It resonates with you to experience the history in person. To walk the grounds and see inside the cells is something you will not forget.

A trip to Dachau or any the memorials is worth the break you will have to take from your vacation. To experience history this way, is a thousand times better than any class or documentary ever will be.

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Monday I will post Munich Part Two

~Melanie

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6 thoughts on “Munich Part One: Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial

  1. Admire that you both are taking in the historically significant sites of Germany and surrounding countries as well as the beautiful ones as well. I’ll have to go back and see your posts about Nuremburg. James may or may not know that we have a relative that served as a judge post World War II in Nuremburg. Mom (your Grandmother Elizabeth) should recall that history. I think it was on the Jumper side. I know if I were ever in Germany I’d be visiting many famous places of World War II. I think I’d like to see and visit the Memorial at the Bendlerblock in Berlin to Claus von Stauffenberg. And then the Flossenbürg concentration camp where Dietrich Bonhoeffer was hanged on 9 April 1945 as the Nazi regime was collapsing. I think I’d like to see as many of the places where Band of Brothers and ‘Easy Company’ part of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division served from Normandy to Germany. Even Berchtesgaden where the top command and those connected to the German government hierarchy resided through much of the war. Nothing to celebrate or memorialize there except to walk the ground where evil centered. I would probably reflect on Easy Company being the first to make it there as a symbol of the victors over the defeated. And yet life goes on.

    Not that its important but I have donated to Glenn Beck’s Nazarene Fund since last summer that has attempted to rescue 500 Christians from the threat of Isis in Northern Iraq. An exceptional documentary produced a while back (and part of 20/20 of ABC shot there) of the Christians and Yazidi Genocide in Mesopotamia and mount Mt. Sinjar and its adjacent villages. Much like Oskar Schindler paying to buy people to save from the Holocaust the first group of 150 got out just before Christmas. Genocides still continues from Paul Pot in Cambodia, Africa and of course the Middle East. It happened to US Soldiers (and the other powers) in Japan as well as Germany. I think I’d visit the miles and miles of crosses, stars of David, and headstones from France, Italy, into Germany and the countries of the occupation. Some served from the Myers family including Jim Alexander, who was a Seabee in the Pacific building airway landing strips along the islands and later many airports in the US and Interstates. Odell was called up in WW I (your great gandfather Myers) and trained at Fort Sill OK before the war ended. Most never talked about their service and others wished they could have served. We are so honored and proud you are serving James. Cautiously praying at the same time.

    A lot to see, with the good, the bad and the ugly. Glad though to see your photos and pictures where you both have walked. Though I’d probably never be able to fly I have hoped I might travel by ship and see that part of the world accessible through train and vehicle travel. Glad just the same you are and continue to visit the locations you share.

    Can you all talk a little about the chapel memorial and the design and significance of the cross as it casts such a beautiful shadow on the circular walls of the memorial and is altar? And the bench along the long snow covered path. Is that where most of the ashes went in those long paths? 77 years later Germany still and perhaps forever has a lot to answer for. Thank you both again for the post and the memorial of your journey to such important places.

    Uncle Stephen

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