Sunday, September 1, 2013

Day 13: Sunday August 18, 2013

The last day of the trip. We woke up early and had another nice breakfast at the hotel. The woman at reception, who's been nice since the beginning, gave us two Fischer's beer glasses as a souvenir. Then we left for the three-hour ride to Dachau.
The famous "Work makes you free" sign.
When you get to the small town, it seems pretty normal. Its terror-filled past isn't immediately obvious to the naked eye. To get to the site of the former camp, you pass by groceries stories and fast food restaurants. Then you pay three euros at the gate to park. There are actually houses right outside the camp gates. It's scary to think about how people can still live there.
We passed through the information center and went towards the camp site itself. After realizing that we'd be late for the 11:30 showing of the camp documentary, we decided to come back to it later. Since Oma and Opa had already been to the camp twice, Sara, dad, and I walked around. We walked down the many rows of barracks now reduced to rubble, and then to the crematorium. Passing through the former sites of such horrid death was surreal. After walking through there, we went back to the pistol range where Nazis would carry out executions through a shot to the back of the neck.
The Dachau crematorium. 
From there we walked back to watch the documentary. It was scorching hot outside. You could feel the heat and what it must have been like to have been put to work with that kind of weather. The documentary consisted of footage from the camp that was broadcast in the 1960s. A lot of pictures and videos of camp life and the camp's liberation.
The main camp area.
When the 20 minute-long documentary ended, Dad, Sara, and I walked down the other side of the barracks and spent a few minutes in one of the barracks that is still up. Those few minutes really brought everything together. The clustered nature of the barracks made it feel real. The three of us walked into the Jewish memorial to the dead (there were memorials set up from multiple religions) and spent a minute there. Then we walked back to the central area of the camp and went through the museum, which is located inside the former SS headquarters and the area where the prisoners went when they first arrived at the camp. 
Inside the camp barracks. 
After spending about three hours there, we left Dachau. Next stop the Frankfurt airport. We ran into a decent amount of traffic on the way there. Once we arrived, we dropped off the car and checked our luggage. Our hotel was connected to the airport. We got there, rested a bit, and went for dinner. Then we got back and went to sleep.
That's it for the trip. We had uneventful flights from Frankfurt to Zurich, and then Zurich back to New York. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed. 

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