Germany 1. Dachau concentration camp

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In February of 2019 I went to Munich Germany to meet my friend.    There were 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.


“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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GERMANY 1. Dachau concentration camp – 2. BMW museum – 3. BMW World futuristic showroom – 4. Neuschwanstein Castle – 5. 1972 Munich Olympics village – 6. Tourism and going out in Munich – 7. Deutsches Museum – 8. Business in the UK, Germany and Israel – 9. Friedrichshafen, a pleasant German town on a lake

SWITZERLAND 1. Trying to do ‘cheap’ Switzerland – 2. The town of Grusch – 3. Clever Swiss made things – 4. Train from Grusch to Zurich – 5. Zurich, the more liberal Switzerland – 6. Swiss dinosaurs

LIECHTENSTEIN 1. Plans – 2. Getting into this tiny nation – 3. Motorbikes, cars and kebab shops in Vaduz, Liechtenstein – 4. Small country topography – 5. Road up to the castle – 6. The Prince’s castle and vineyard – 7. bars, shops, Olympics – 8. Tiny country, big output – 9. Vaduz church – 10. Government buildings and museums


Yad Vashem uses Google to document the holocaust

I have always been a big admirer of Google, they always have exciting projects on the go, I like the fact they are the most innovative company on the planet, driven by creativity, leveraging a vast number of talented people to make all kinds of large records accessible to everyone previously not possible.

One of the ugly sides of the internet is hate groups.  Quite a significant amount of this is antisemitism, and quite a significant portion of antisemitism is holocaust denial.

Google are now inviting those who had family lost or survived the holocaust to submit pictures and data to this site as a big collaborative project, to stop history from being forgotten or revised, especially as the number of people survived this ordeal are getting few.   Google use a fair bit of their own OCR software to turn scanned text into searchable data.

IT work in Jerusalem in August

This week work has been busy.

Fans.  Cooling fans in PCs in hot countries wear out a lot.  I changed one on my manager’s PC, the blades simply get stuck and won’t turn.  It seems the oil in the motor bearings gets gunged up and simply won’t turn any more.   I must of changed 15+ fans on PCs in the last year, on the CPU, power supply, chassis, video cards and one laptop as well.  Most of the time this is a off the shelf part and cheap and easy to replace bit.  In one case a fan on a motherboard chipset was a weird one and the only place I could get one (£7) was off ebay.  Well it seemed a shame to throw away an otherwise working motherboard, this fan came all the way from China and took 2 weeks to get here.  I swapped over the user with another PC straight away, so when this part arrived the PC was sitting on a bench to be fixed and then could be put back into a service for a new member of staff a month later.   Now the fan on my own office PC has packed in, so I will need to get another.  Normally they start making grinding noises, but this one has just stopped altogether.

I am making plans to virtualise a server used for our finance applications, as it seems quite awkward to manage it, and I have a feeling one of the hard disks in the RAID array is failing, so this will be done as an out of hours job, hopefully if everything goes to plan I only need 30 minutes in the office, the rest I can do by remote software from a coffee shop with laptop and wireless, the real pain with this kind of upgrade is waiting,  a trial run of this type of upgrade took 6 hours to copy files using Norton Ghost from the server to an extra hard disk.   Strip out all the hanging around and the job shouldn’t take more than one hour.

I got to go out and hand over one of the older computers I wrote on not long ago to a local family just a mile or so from our headquarters.

The girls seem to be pleased with their new acquisition.  After this, I got to spend the rest of the afternoon helping our Korean colleague Jey with his deliveries to the poor from the food bank.   Driving to various apartments of needy families with food was interesting as this took us over the north part of Jerusalem through a nice forest and places I have not seen before. Jey walks quite fast between the van and the apartments as he has to do a lot of drops and time is quite tight.

At least 3 of the people we visited were elderly holocaust survivors, a few having some full time carers staying with them who usually of Thai or Filipino origin who I see quite a lot in caring and nursing roles here.   One of the older gents who was 82 and originally from Poland invited us in and offered orange juice and cake and told us jokes and told us stories about he used to sing in his synagogue when he was younger.  This was a nice afternoon out of the office.