Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sachsenhausen Camp & Berlin, Germany.....July 8th

Thirteen hour bus tour and by the time we rolled onto the ship I was in no mood to write the blog. It will take me some time to process the experience of Sachsenhausen and the fact that Berlin really needs several days, not a whirlwind six hours. Today we are off to lovely Lubeck and this evening I will finish this blog.

The guides we had for the Berlin trip were great. The main person was a young man who had spent quite a bit of time traveling the world and had even attended school in Southern California. Once we arrived at the concentration camp we picked up a second guide. The camp is a memorial to the victims who passed through the gates. The guide’s commentary on the camp was frank and revealing. Raising sobering thoughts on what humans did and can do to one another and the horrendous possibility of it ever happening again. The camps started to become memorials sometime in the ‘60s when a changing attitude among younger Germans surfaced. Through a freedom of information act many of the facts that up until then denied were brought to light and acknowledged by the German populace. 

The Berlin wall came down twenty years ago, though parts have been left standing - I guess for the tourists. The graffiti that we’ve all seen from the media coverage has faded over time and the powers that be are having the original artists come back and touch up their work. 

Berlin is a lively modern city. Both east and west have integrated with the reunification.

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