V is for Valentine's Day
Maybe this is too much for one week or even too much for one month.... but for Valentine's day, on the same trip I talked about here, we visited Dachau concentration camp. I'm not going to write a long post like my post on Theresinstadt. Mostly because this place disturbed me to my core but also because I could never ever find adequate words to describe it. I want to remember this trip, but I'm not sure I know how to write about it.
It was a dark and cold day when we drove into the town in Upper Bravaria. I'm glad there wasn't blue skies and sunshine, it wouldn't have felt appropriate.
The barb wired walls of the camp butt right up against the neighbouring town. Real life goes on outside- just as it did during the war. I think that is what gutted me the most. When the American soldiers liberated the camp they forced local citizens to come and see first hand the horrific truth that many had simply turned a blind eye to.
Only one row of barracks stand, the rest are just a hollow concrete frame. A single line of trees now lead down the empty rows where thousands, lived and died.
(source)We stood in the gas chamber and passed through them to the crematorium in absolute silence. I'm not sure I said a single word until I walked back out of the camp. Under the sign that read "Abreit Macht Frei- work makes you free." Afterwards I breathed out a sigh that felt like it came from the depth of my soul. You don't leave that place the same-how could you? The devil himself put stakes down in Europe and the evidence is still there for you to see and you'll never forget it.
It was the most heartbreaking Valentine's day I will ever know.