Germany 1. Dachau concentration camp

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In February of 2019 I went to Munich Germany to meet my friend.    There was several places I wanted to see and also to go from Munich southwards to some other places towards Switzerland.

While in a youth hostel in Munich I was recommended to visit Dachau.    As the name of this blog suggests, I lived in Jerusalem Israel for a few years.   I’ve worked with Jewish people in Israel and in the UK for a good while.    I took a train that 30 mins from Munich and another 2km to this place wondering how do I prepare myself to see a terrible act of wholesale murder mainly aimed at one particular religious group.

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Dachau was the first of all the Nazi concentration camps.   I only got maybe 1 1/2 hours here as I had to an appointment to see my friend at for lunch so I didn’t see all of it.  I’ve been to Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem a few times to see the grand scale of tragedy inflicted on Jewish people during WWII.   This was a bit different as it was up close.

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I thought as well as Dachau, Auschwitz, and a couple of other places in Poland, just these were the main centres of death by the Nazis.    I was wrong, this map here shows more like a couple of hundred places of Hitler’s infrastructure of industrial-scale murder.

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“work makes you free”

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What are the hoists above the ovens?   Maybe its better I didn’t know.

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Copies of monuments from different parts of Europe and Israel.    There were school children on a trip here.    A chilling reminder needed this should never ever happen again.

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  1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. Neuschwanstein Castle – 4. 1972 Munich Olympics village.

 

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mystery head of state visits Yad Vashem

Just before this shot, I saw some large limousines and police cars outside with flashing lights, it dawned on me people from the government had come to visit the museum.  There was a moment of hesitation if it would be frowned upon to take pictures, but I got a pic of these men heading towards the entrance.  It seems the man in the middle with the hat who had a the smart very senior looking green uniform with a lot of badges and tassels appears to be a head of state of a visiting nation.

I have been told that if a senior member of a foreign government comes to Israel, there is a policy that they have to come to Yad Yashem at least once, to gain understanding of what many of the grim events the Jewish people have faced before they got a nation of their own again.

These flags were hung out on a street close to the King David hotel.   I have seen other countries hung out here when there is visiting dignitaries coming, another time recently was the flag of Cyprus.

Not sure what nation this is, maybe a small Caribbean island I think?

Yad Vashem visit

A month ago, I went with some friends from work to see Yad Vashem museum.

This concrete bridge over car park has a a scripture from Ezekiel 37 : 14 “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.”

The triangular building on the left is where the exhibits are, in the middle is a ticket hall, although entrance is free, but brochures can be bought and radio headsets can be rented for languages other than English and Hebrew and a cafe and toilets are in the basement.

The museum doesn’t allow the public to take pictures, but I did get one of this tall domed roof hosts photos and documents of children.   I touched on recently how members of the public with families who perished have been invited to submitted to Google recently in conjunction with Yad Vashem.

There are many things that I feel shamed reading about, how Christians accused Jews of being ‘Christ killers’ and how the British denied boat loads of Jews desperate for a safe place to call home from docking with (The British Mandate of) Palestine.  This was many things that were shocking in addition to the  precise way the Nazis committed large scale genocide.

You would think that lessons would be learned from a murder on a mass scale like this.

There are number of things today that deeply trouble me.   One is that are worryingly parallels between Nazi fascism and today’s rhetoric from Arab nations, and bits of this are echoed in the western media.  Some of these things was the Nazi’s call to boycott Jews, as some vintage propaganda posters were shown in a cabinet.   Other similarities are the Nazis burning books, and countries today turning off their internet to try and keep the public in ignorance.

Its crazy today that some people try to change history and pretend this awful event never happened.   There is also a secondary type of hatred, and that is from people who consider the previously mentioned people to be a credible authority of information.

It was only a few years after this terrible part of history before the birth of the modern state of Israel in 1948.   A nation born in a day.  Isaiah 66 : 8 says “Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.”

This photo I took at the end of the museum, is this amazing view of the north of Jerusalem onto a forest.   This beautiful and dramatic view is a nice and concludes a visitor’s trip by showing the land that the Jewish people waited so long for.

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My mention on Google’s holocaust records project.

Next, a head of state spotted…