A sobering experience

Apparently, we are getting used again to that heap of cotton on wheels that is our trailer tent – I definitely slept better than the night before, and I’m getting back into my camping rythm, which includes waking up at six (predominantly by my bladder).

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When I got up, it was blue skies as far as the eye could see, but the sun is doing a good job of drying the land, so it’s now a mix of blue skies and the odd patch of stratocumulus… which, if there wouldn’t be any larger-scale atmospheric interventions, would be perfectly fine, but I’m afraid that we’ll have some less pleasant stuff to deal with later today. 

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But for now, let’s just enjoy a beautiful morning. We may be visiting the Bergen-Belsen memorial today – it’s quite close to Celle.
Here, have a flower, viewed against the natural backdrop that is the Aller. You’ll need that when you read on…

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Bergen-Belsen

This day, we visited the site of the concentration camp in Bergen-Belsen, where morethan 70,000 people were left to rot by the Nazi’s. Anne Frank was just one of them. 50,000 of these were Soviet POW’s.
Today, the site is just a site; in april 1945, after the camp was liberated by the Allies, the place was literally burnt down to the ground because of the immense health risk – typhus was running rampant in the camp. Germany built a memorial on the site. There is a permanent exposition that does one thing very, very well: it gives faces, names and voices to the faceless, unnamed, silent victims. These are not just Jews or Russians (or Muslims or Mexicans or Kurds or Pakistani), these are sons, husbands, mothers. If you visit this place, it is all too apparent that “nie wieder” (never again) is a long ways away these days… because, just like today, in the thirties, politicians fed on fear in what we call “us” for nameless, faceless groups of “them’s”, and cultivated that fear in order to rise to power… and there is not a single logical reason to assume that today’s Trumps, Farages and Wilderses are any different.

A very sobering experience.
Yes, it is absolutely necessary that we make sure this never happens again. But I’m not optimistic.

One thought on “A sobering experience

  1. Sadly Peter, I agree. ‘Nie Weider’ seems to be too far away from the public consciousness nowadays. I fear a new dark age may be upon us 🙁 . Lovely photos though 🙂

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