June 2, 2010

Berlin is definitely a city that never ceases to amaze me.  It may be poor, but damn it is sexy! It has a vibrant and rich culture, world-renowned architecture and a profound history.

Among all of the places we have been so far, Sachsenhausen has by far affected me the most. As I mentally prepared myself for that day, I don’t think I was fully aware of my emotional state of being. Usually something that intense would cause me to become an emotional wreck, however this time was different. Throughout the entire tour I was in shock and was horrified and was not able to shed a tear. This wasn’t due to the lack of sadness. I am incapable of comprehending how a human being can inflict something so horrific on another human being. I was horror-struck standing within the walls of Sachsenhausen.

In spite of this, at the end of the day our tour guide said that it is okay to walk throughout Sachsenhausen and think about things other than what happened there. That is, it is okay to think about your day and what you are doing that evening without feeling bad, and it is even okay not to cry. Sachsenhausen isn’t a concentration camp anymore. Today Sachsenhausen remains a memorial for not only those who lost their lives, but also as a signifier that nothing like that will ever happen there again.

Being able to walk around the serene landscape while taking in all of the information was definitely an eye-opening experience. From 1936 to 1945 tens of thousands of lives were taken at Sachsenhausen, yet today it holds a very different purpose. It is a way of recognizing the past in the form of a memorial, to ensure that it never happens again. The memorial at Sachsenhausen is Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung.

Whether you were like me and stood in shock in the middle of the triangle where so many deaths took place, or if you shed many tears for those lost due to pure inhumanity, I hope everyone was able to take their own piece of importance from that day at Sachsenhausen.


One comment

  1. Thanks for sharing your feelings that you experienced that day with us.

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