Monday, September 4, 2017

Post 17: Munich and Dachau

Guest Blogger, Amanda from Seattle here [Ryan's note: Guest?! Amanda seems to have taken over my blog!], reporting that Ryan and I arrived in Munich after a 4 hour bus ride from Prague. We checked into our hotel and then started walking around town. It was the weekend and there was some sort of festival going on. The streets were crowded with people and tents were set up with arts and crafts and food. There were several places where bands were playing. It was crazy. We walked down Brienner Strasse which was just a block from our hotel and headed towards the Marienplatz. Of course, Marienplatz was ground zero  of the festivities and wall to wall people. We popped into the Hofbrauhaus so that Ryan could see it, but we ate at a smaller place nearby.

Now this is how you roll Bavarian style


I was beat, so we returned to the hotel and I crashed, but Ryan walked back out and around the English Garden. I particularly told him to check out the surfers on the Eisbach River there!

The next day we got up early and caught the train to Dachau. I have been several times and I believe that everyone should visit the former concentration camp. Ryan had already visited Auschwitz, so I was surprised that he wanted to visit another camp. [Ryan's note: I'd actually been to the sites of two different concentration camps in Poland--but Auschwitz was the big one and I was curious if the Germans might have spun the concentration camp story any differently than the Poles did. The Germans, after all, were the aggressors and might want to downplay the horrors while Poles, as the victims, might be more likely to play up the horrors. But in both cases, it was a damning indictment against the Nazi regime.] But the museum at Dachau is extremely thorough and I think he enjoyed it. [Ryan's note: I'm not sure "enjoyed" is the correct word, but I'm sure you know what she means!] Plus we had a gorgeous day to walk around the grounds.

Dachau was the first concentration camp and the longest-running one, and it was a training ground for the SS. What distinguishes Dachau is that what happened in the camp system as a whole happened at some level here first. Human medical experiments, gas chambers, etc.

[Ryan's note: The gas chamber here was still intact, unlike the ones at Auschwitz which had been destroyed by the Germans trying to hide their crimes. I also learned that over 30,000 people had been killed at Dachau--it wasn't an extermination camp like Auschwitz--the gas chambers had been used for testing purposes, but never used for mass exterminations--and I found myself thinking only 30,000 people were killed here? Compared to the estimated 1.1 million people killed at Auschwitz, it's a drop in the bucket. But then I thought, What the hell is wrong with me? Thirty THOUSAND people were killed here! That's still a hell of a lot of people!]

At the Beer Garden Ryan has Coke.....

We returned to Munich and had lunch at the Augustiner Beer Garden. We turned in early because the next day we were leaving Munich for Fussen, Bavaria and the Neuschwanstein Castle!

Amanda has beer. [Ryan's note: Amanda had beer.]

1 comment:

Mary said...

I love Amanda's blogs!