We were in awe of the Nuremberg Laws which outlawed human and civil rights. At the annual party rally held in Nuremberg in 1935, the Nazis announced new laws which institutionalized many of the racial theories that the Nazi party embraced. The laws excluded German Jews from Reich citizenship and prohibited them from marrying or having sexual relations with persons of “German or related blood.” Jews were completely deprived of most political rights.
As you go along the museum and follow the timeline of events, you can see Hitler’s entire rise to power was ludicrous.
The picture of the skeletal naked men is horrific. How could soldiers hide behind the fact that they were “just doing their jobs and following orders.” Sad, sad, sad- but important for people to see and learn about.
Notice the sculpture in the back. It is made of iron I think and looks like skeletal bodies intertwined- much like the photos of the piles of corpses waiting to be cremated and the ones soldiers found in various places when the camp was liberated.
When you first get to Dachau you pass through an iron gate with the slogan: “Arbeit Macht Frei” – work sets you free. This was personally chosen by Theodor Eicke – the father of the SS-run concentration camp system. (SS stands for the German word Schutzstaffel which was the army police.)
Eicke’s idea was that through a combination of severe discipline, sparse/nasty living conditions and forced labor, he could reform any perceived ‘Enemy of the State,’ then set him free to live a productive life in support of Hitler’s agenda. Inside the camp, painted in large letters along the roof of one building was the motto: “There is one way to freedom. Its milestones are: obedience, zeal, honesty, order, cleanliness, temperance, truth, sense of sacrifice and love for the Fatherland.” So ironic. Those weirdos totally believed in and were fully committed to their own lies and hypocrisy.
New arrivals at Dachau were never told how long they would be at the prison. This actually weakened their morale because they didn’t have ‘a light at the end of the tunnel.’ Often, their journey to Dachau marked the first time they were ever accused of any wrong doing. Most had never had any involvement with the police in the past. Many had been sent there by the Gestapo upon vague accusations and/or by simply disliked by someone. Some were even arrested on suspicion they might commit a crime in the future. What in the world?!?! How could anyone have functioned in daily life with that type of fear hanging over your head every day.
Emerson felt a heaviness in her heart and pain in her stomach. Maddux was so confused that people could do this to other people. I felt horrifically sad and angry. Jesse and Lennon just walked around silently.
Heavy stuff but important to see.
We all had a great time visiting the school where Claudia works. Between seeing her working and listening to Lubos’s wife, Hana, talk about how much she enjoys teaching- I might just try and get a teaching degree in the near future! That would be fun!
I loved trying out my German with these students. They are sweet kids (kinder!)