So you’ve figured out I’m about three days behind, haven’t you?
Yes, I’m actually writing this cozied up at my aunt’s glorious house in the black forest country side of Germany, with even the nearest store about 30 minutes away. It’s an amazing opportunity to see family, (do laundry) and relax before hoisting my luggage again and hitting Spain for another brutally hot two weeks. But back to the tour….
We left Munich in the morning, with a planned stop at Dacha concentration camp.
It is hard for me to post too much about this. So much of being there is your own personal experience and introspective journey. It feels weird for me to even post too many pictures. Suffice to say it was a hard day. I spent much of the time there by myself and then checked in with students afterwards. Many of the kids were affected, and one 14 year boy in our group who was visibly distraught said he hadn’t really known what was meant by “concentration camps” (He knew they existed, yes, but didn’t realize the conditions, longevity or inhumane torture that was so perversive), and this was despite the fact that the guide had done a good introduction before our entrance. (Also of note was that none of the students at the table I was sitting with had heard about the Japanese internment camps in America. Technically, WWII is part of the high school Social Studies and English curriculum but it was interesting to know the sort of schema this generation is coming to school with.) Nadia also explained that in German schools it was required that every child (she didn’t specify a grade or age) take a field trip to one of the concentration camps.
I imagine they are unforgettable to anyone who experiences it.
After the concentration camp, we had a three and half hour drive to reach our last city of Rothenburg ob dur Tauber. We arrived in time to check in at our quaint inn (my room wasn’t in the main building, but around the corner in room #1. I actually think I was staying in some former horse stables? Unclear.)
So, this happened. The poor guy, too, as it was easily another 95+ day. He explained that in medieval times of the city, the watchmen’s job was mainly to watch for fires. The houses with thatched roofs could be easily engulfed in flames so it was important to be on the look out. Those of higher class could afford stone roofs and weren’t at risk. It is also the origin of the term “stone broke” or “stone rich” (mainly used in the UK).
The tour was short and sweet but Rothenburg is enchanting at sunset.
We walked along the wall and ruins, and enjoyed the small town and it’s clearly medieval history. It was unclear what we would do for our free time in town the next day since it was so small, but the slower pace of this town was also definitely fitting our demeanor at this point in our trip.