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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Cloud seems to complete shroud over the whole of the city of Jerusalem

We have had a lot of rain lately which has been great, in fact more rain in one week then I have ever seen before.

This is a bizarre sight I see sometimes, there is a cluster of clouds above right over Jerusalem, and its as if the clouds stop right on the outskirts of the city.

Today, this is what I saw out of my kitchen window.

On the way to work I was riding past the King David Citadel hotel and looking east towards the old city, and the mount of Olives, I saw again, the edge of cloud seems roughly parallel with the edge of Jerusalem.

At the risk of sounding overly romantic or like a New Age-esque thing, seeing clouds above the city is something I have seen quite often here: https://britinjerusalem.com/2011/05/23/glow-of-light-in-valley-in-jerusalem-during-day-of-rage/

Before it came a catch phrase in IT I quite like looking at clouds on a flight, especially when you hovering just above what seems to be a field of clouds.

Anyway it gave me a nice start to the day when I was waiting for my tea to boil. 🙂


Albert Einstein on Jesus

Albert Einstein was offered the job of being first prime minister of Israel, a lot of people thought he was an atheist although from Jewish background, thought this was a fascinating glimpse of something he said though!

(saw this on a blog called DailyMinyan – hope you don’t mind me quoting it :o)
Interviewer: To what extent are you influenced by [the teachings of Jesus]?
Einstein: As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.
Interviewer: You accept the historical existence of Jesus?
Einstein: Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life. How different, for instance, is the impression which we receive from an account of legendary heroes of antiquity like Theseus. Theseus and other heroes of his type lack the authentic vitality of Jesus.
Interviewer:  Ludwig Lewisohn, in one of his recent books, claims that many of the sayings of Jesus paraphrase the sayings of other prophets.
Einstein: No man can deny the fact that Jesus existed, nor that his sayings are beautiful. Even if some them have been said before, no one has expressed them so divinely as he.
(From interview with G.S. Viereck)

Palestinian archeologist at Hezekiah’s tunnel

I will add a few more articles on my trip around the Galilee very soon.

I went with some friends to Hezekiah’s tunnel in the City of David museum in Silwan, a volatile Arab neighbourhood close to the Dung Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem.

There is over a mile of tunnels you have to walk through in darkness and in water upto your knees.

I have been here before actually, you can see my original article here.

This plastic pipe seems to be a temporary replacement for the modern drainage system which was removed with this area was dug up.

At the back of the museum is this place, dug up not so long ago.

This places was once a source of water, from the museum web site:-

In June of 2004, municipal workers who were repairing a sewage drain in the City of David were shocked to discover a staircase deep underneath the ground.  Salvage excavations done at the site revealed that the stairs are part of an ancient thoroughfare, leading from the Shiloach Pool – the major water drawing source in Jerusalem from Biblical times, to the Temple Mount over 2300 feet to the north. Excavations conducted by Eli Shukron are discovering the original stones walked upon by the Jewish people as they made their pilgrimage to the Jewish temple most notably on the festivals of Passover, Shavuot and Succoth.

In places, the pavement was broken, revealing an underground drainage channel filled with whole pottery vessels and coins. Josephus Flavius, a famous historian of that period, describes this very place as one where the Jews unsuccessfully attempted to hide during the Roman Revolt in 70 CE.  For over 2,000 years this road has secretly laid, hidden from the world. Today, in the center of Jerusalem, in the historic City of David, we have the unique opportunity to once again reveal this road before the eyes of the world.


Sign here say that this ground on the surface is a cemetery for Arab children.

What surprised me was there was a Palestinian man working in the museum who had a love of history.  Silwan is quite a troubled neighbourhood and often Palestinian groups and their supporters around the world, try to show this part of the world as stolen land, despite the wealth of historical information that shows its been occupied by many different groups of people; Roman, Byzantine, Jewish, Arab, Crusader, Ottoman, British Mandate etc, that have lived here.

This man showed some coins he personally found himself, this coin to the left can be clearly seen as being Roman, the one to the bottom right has a Christian cross on it.

He told us he had his car set on fire by other people in his neighbourhood for working with Jews.   He told us he was not religious and not interested in politics, only liked working at the museum and finding discoveries from past.

  

With the large numbers of Christian visitors that come to this site every day, I am hoping the most of them will be praying for this man, for his safety and for him to find his Lord and saviour.

One we were out the rear entrance of the museum, I found myself in a Palestinian community.

Next to this simple sandwich shop is this fruit tree which I think has plums on it, far from ripe of course.  House opposite has a Palestinian flag on it.   We got a ride back to the main high street in this blue VW taxi van.

Web site of City of David museum and Hezekiah’s tunnel

Early Christian book with metal pages found in Jordan

An ancient book with metal pages, possibly an ancient artifacts of early Christianity has been found in Jordan:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12888421

Wonder if Google could document this and put in the web along with the Dead Sea Scrolls they are planning to publish this year?

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.

www.yadvashem.org.il

My mention on Google’s holocaust records project.

Next, a head of state spotted…

Jerusalem Knights – outdoor holyland theatre

I ventured out to the old city at around 10pm after an event at my church…

The flags hung on the road signs here originally got my attention last week, so I decided to take a look, this event is a collection of actors dressed up in costumes in different parts of the old city.

The exact era they are meant to be representing I am not quite sure, as there is none of the posters or dialogue spoken by artists in English.

Its all quite exciting though, the costumes look great, and there is people swarmed into the alleys of the old city following the signs and flags that point to the path to short distance snaking around the street corners to the next artist.

There are Jews, Arabs, Christian pilgrims and foreigners of all sorts here watching what is going on.

The actors and artists are princesses, slaves, musicians, poets and all kinds.

This lady on the left is dressed up in a Covent Garden-esque style as a fountain statue, she is holding a hose pouring water into a bowl below.  There was a kid running around which I was secretly hoping she could ‘accidentally’ put her finger on the end and spray him with water but alas no. 🙂   This musician here could do an older instrument, this guitar looks a bit too modern.

Here the usual traders in the old city are doing business, albeit with a few extra twists.  There are of course the fruit juice squeezer stands and the lounges with strong coffee and smoking pipes, but the young Arab lad with this large metallic teapot on wheels caught me eye, especially when it was not tea or coffee, but this (the name escapes me) particularly pleasant middle east beverage made from hot milk, coconut, cinnamon and lots of sugar = 10 Shekels (UKP1.85)

This fella looks fresh out of a Victorian novel.   Right, the fountain in the centre looks nice illuminated in blue at night.

This was quite a nice evening walk, I may try and bring some friends out here next week as its on every thursday night in October.  If you are around Jerusalem this month check it out.

Jerusalem Parade

Jaffa Street is looking like a race track, there are loads of police and security, mainly trying to make sure people don’t walk across the road.

This parade is a big event that happens each year and is lots of fun.   Its not political although there are soldiers there, and the police, various Christian organisations.

Vintage buses and trucks, some are very old, probably date around 1948.

Left. Gasp!  The new electric lightrail train is here!  Apparently its not supposed to be running yet, just a brief glimpse of it was operating today only.   The electric overhead wires were powered on a couple of weeks ago, but some of the infrastructure is not finished, there are some computer screens on the bus stops are not installed yet. Right. Police dog handlers.  The canines seem to be an unusual indeterminate breed, they are shorter and stockier than typical German Shepherds normally use for police and military uses.

El-Al, Israel’s national airline, had their pilots and stewards out doing their own dance.

The International Chrisitan Embassy Jerusalem. (ICEJ)

Some Christians from the Philipines…

and Norway, Hong Kong, China…

Below from the Daily Planet…

Disabled Israelis also here.   There were loads more people attending, but I had to get back to work. 🙂

Sukkot tents

At work we had a birthday lunch outside with a Sukkah tent.   These temporary structures are popular all over Israel as a place for Jews to eat and sleep in them for this festival.   Sometimes they are tents and some are shed like buildings, they are decorated with palm trees, plastic or real fruit and Christmas-style decorations, kind of all the fun of camping but just outside your house.

Just off the side of Jaffa Street, there is a huge Sukkah put on by Jerusalem Municipality.   There is local artwork being shown inside, and behind was a stage with a big free concert is on, there was some Ethiopian girls singing in their native Amharic language.   Of course there wasn’t any English commentary to this show, so I don’t know if this was a charity event.

Quick visit to Karmiel

On Wednesday afternoon I was asked to do an emergency trip to Karmiel to look at some IT problems at our food bank there.

This extra food bank warehouse is much larger than the one in Talpiyot but has only about 6 staff there.  This building operates to help Israelis from Russia or from other ex-Soviet Union countries.   As it is only about 15Km from the border with Lebanon, this area suffered much during the 2006 Lebanon war.   The food bank also sometimes supplies new immigrants with new blankets, sheets, pots, pans and kitchen things who have recently come into the country with very little.

I can normally do changes to the computers in this location using remote software (VNC or remote desktop)  but a visit in person was needed to check out problems and give users some reassurance and assess PCs for any possible future problems.   Some printer issues I quickly sorted out, some wireless routers were set up, I didn’t know we had these are they didn’t show up on my Spiceworks network management software.   These seemed all working but no-one know the wireless keys to access them as it doesn’t appear they have been used, so I had to reset them and ensure they were set up correctly so visiting senior members of staff can get on line when visiting.   The rest of the day I was working on making sure users have a secure reliable browser for internet use (getting rid of Internet Explorer 6 and move to Firefox)   and testing UPS systems (box with car batteries to keep essential equipment safe from power failures)   I had enough to keep me busy for the day, but nothing really too much to worry about.

As the drive in a colleague’s car was about 3 hours from Jerusalem, I decided against trying to get home that day by bus and stay with one of the Karmiel team at his flat about 20 minutes walk away.  The three of us got a couple of pizzas and had a few glasses of Russian beer which was in the shape of hand grenade!   I was quite amazed how my American friend speaks Russian to visitors to the office there with such ease, he has a real gift for dealing with Russian, Ukrainian and other Israelis originating from former USSR states.

This is the food bank in an industrial estate in between factory units that had a strong smell of cellulose paint at one side, and oily smell from several car garages at the other.  Sorry these are grainy phone pics, I brought my camera but left the battery in the charger in my house (bah..)

Although I only got a picture of the petrol station I went for my lunch, the town itself is beautiful.  Its only officially existed since 1964, there are nice neat gardens everywhere, with flower beds in roundabouts and by the sides of busy roads, and although some of the concrete blocks look a bit shabby, several of them have been nicely painted up recently.

View out of the window of the flat.   Looking at each side of the house, every direction reveals several mountains in each direction, its no wonder on the way home, I was not able to find a radio channel in the car that worked!   There are also some Arab towns on the outside of the town.

I definitely need to come back and have a closer look around, this place is a good base point for me (there is an empty apartment I could book out to stay there) to visit northern Israel in more depth.