Iron Bars: Touring a Concentration Camp

This is a different blog post. It isn’t about my delicious bratwurst or the lessons that comes from traveling. It is the part of my trip that I rarely talked about to anyone. I did not publish pictures on Facebook or smile in front of any monument. It is because this was when I toured a concentration camp.

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A Few of my Favorite Moments

I quickly realized in Germany that there is a balance between capturing the moments I want to keep and viewing the world through a camera lens. When I had my camera, I was tempted to take pictures of everything and anything. I wanted a hard copy of every memory, from the mundane mornings to the exciting evenings. It quickly proved to be unsustainable behavior if I also wanted to absorb the culture and fully enjoy myself, so I relented and saved my big camera for more special occasions. These are a few of my favorite moments.  Continue reading

Street Art Snapshots

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When I think of graffiti in America, I picture an abundance of crudely scrawled phallic symbols. The graffiti in Europe is different. It commonly serves as thoughtful street art rather than adolescent defacement of buildings. It may be created and therefore viewed with higher regard because there is a long history of using graffiti to release feelings of turmoil during times of political unrest in Europe. Continue reading

Anxiety Abroad

I am having a panic attack. My mind feels like it’s closing in on itself, and there is pressure fighting to escape from every inch of my body. I begin to hyperventilate, and seek to find a release from the crushing force no matter what pain it causes me. I am not in my right mind. I scratch my chest, arms, and legs because there is a twisted, desperate voice saying that it will make me feel better. I pull on my hair and curl up in a ball, surveying the bloody damage running the length of my arms. If I don’t get my breathing under control soon, I will become numb and eventually pass out. Already I have lost feeling in my hands and feet. My mouth is clamped shut, so I can’t call for help. Life has me temporarily paralyzed.

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A Crash Course on German Beers

So I’m a beer drinker. If I’m going to have a nice meal then I’d rather have it with a tall cold glass of beer rather than wine. With the stereotype of Germans drinking an outrageous amount of beer, I was excited to see what all the hype was about. I can’t say that I was disappointed. I’m just going to go ahead and break down my favorite beers that I had during my stay in Leipzig. Continue reading

Visiting Buchenwald

I really didn’t know how to feel or what to expect when I visited the concentration camp, Buchenwald in Wiemar. We got there about 1030 in the morning and it was sprinkling so we decided to go to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp before it started pouring. When we got there, we watched this video about the camp and the conditions there. Let me start off by saying that Buchenwald wasn’t a death camp. It was a labor and prison camp that just happened to kill a lot of people, so that’s it’s big distinction from Auschwitz. The people that were there were mostly political prisoners, homosexuals, prisoners of war and Jews. When we got there, we went through the gate and on the iron bars it had a quote that translated to “everyone gets what he deserves” and it could only be read from the inside. It was eerie to say the least. Most of the camp was leveled and only a few buildings survived but it was still a very creepy place. All of the foundations stood and one of the buildings that did was the crematorium. Continue reading