Memories from Munich

This weekend I visited two enormously significant places that I will remember for a
very long time, if not a lifetime.

I visited the beautiful Bavarian city of Munich. This city had its
origin in the Middle Ages and by the 1500's had become the arts and
crafts capital of Southern Germany.

But arts and architecture was not the main reason why I made the 200
plus KM drive into Munich. It was the history -- no, not the 72
Olympics, but WW II.

In 1919, Adolf Hitler came to Munich from Austria with nothing more
than a suitcase with everything he owned. He was a painter and
watercolored some postcards which he sold to tourists for pennies.

The story is very sad, how a nobody with no background, an evil spirit
and virtually no leadership skills could rise to power with no checks and balances ensuring that he would not get out of hand.

So in Munich, I took a tour called the Third Reich Tour which took us
to sites spread out throughout the city where Hitler the Nazi party
and the SS Army came to power.

I didn't want to go and felt bad about the whole thing, but I knew that I needed to know -- I was seeking the truth and the truth would definitely and invariably set me free.

Among a doze sites, we visited the Odeonsplatz which served as a parade field for the SS, who often staged nighttime rallies there.

We visited the actual beer hall which was the scene of several Nazi meetings and some of Hitler's most memorable speeches.

The saddest part of the entire tour was that of the dozen sites we visited, there was only one memorial for the Jewish people -- and this memorial is hidden behind a very large oak tree. Can't even see it from the street. It's a shame but the people of Munich are deeply ashamed of the past and prefer not to talk about it.

But if we don't talk, how can we learn the lessons of the past.

Today was a day, I'll never forget and I hope I learned something that I can take with me and would impact me for an entire lifetime.

No comments:

Post a Comment