5/13-Dachau

Today was heavy, emotionally. We visited Dachau, the concentration camp. It was originally built as the blueprint for even worse death camps used across Europe later on. We woke up and got on the bus to the camp, a fair ways from our hotel. When we got there, I was taken aback by the natural beauty of the area. Birds chirping, lush trees flowing in the breeze. We met the best tour guide we could have. He was a man absolutely learned in his material and completely devoted to telling us about the tragedies that occurred there. He didn’t want to pull any punches but wanted to make the experience as real and visceral as it needed to be. He has been giving tours for decades, very clearly. I won’t go into detail about everything we saw, because there’s too much to cover, but probably the most striking thing to me was a room where they would hang people by their arms with heavy chains and also hold music concerts in the evenings. The ability of humanity to torture people in the same room where they celebrate is almost inconceivable to me. It was eye-opening to see such an average-looking place that was the death place for so many. We saw some mass graves and images of the dead in the very rooms we walked. We saw beds slammed up against each other where human beings were essentially stacked on top of each other until they died. It was moving to say the least. The tour guide emphasized that we may be moving backwards as humans. Racism and hatred seem to be still prevalent. He urged us to learn from the past. It was hard to do anything but learn from the past on that tour.

For the rest of the day, we went back to Augsburg. I took a nice nap, as I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I hadn’t slept super well the night before. We got some pizza at a trendy Italian place. You are given a card and everything is charged to the card that you get. At the end, you pay the card off. The design makes it way easier to spend a lot of money without noticing it, which I was impressed by. After that, we began work on our project. Each group is assigned a company to present on at the end of the trip. Our group divided up the different sections of the presentation and we got to work. I was able to make fairly good progress on my slides. I feel I am more productive than usual, simply because of the great environment I am in and the constant activity. Today was a good day.

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