Hello. We are Ash & Kellen. We are WeeNo Photography.

Germany, and the things that come with it.

Pin It The adventures of Germany. 

   Its been a few days that I have been in Germany. I arrived late Sunday night, and it feels like I have been going since. I am listening to a little Dr.Dog to make it feel a bit like "home", although I heard of the dog in Wisconsin from Kellens dear friend Ryan, and I'm trying to make sense of the last few days.

   Okay. So first off, I am visiting Mitja. Mitja lived with me for a year as a foreign exchange student the year of 2002-2003. He has been back to the states, and I have been to Germany to visit, for just a weekend, but atleast its something. So I'm back. I'm here for a week to see him, and to enjoy a bit of germany, and its on my way to Switzerland.

   I'm in southern Germany, Baveria, close to Munich. Its the end of September in Munich, which only means one thing. Oktoberfest. and what does that mean, but alot of beer, alot of foreigners, and even more drunks. Yup, I'm in the land of 1 liter mugs of beer. Here they have two types, regular beer, or beer with 7up in it. Its a bit strange, but I guess it just means that you can drink more, and not get drunk as fast? or if you just don't like the taste, then you drink the lighter stuff. Not sure, but there you have it. Oh, also Oktoberfest beer, its alcohol content is stronger then normal. Yup, so you get drunk faster. 

   Monday we did the drive to Munich, and headed for Oktoberfest. The weather was a bit nippy, and a bit rainy, and very fallish. I tried my best to look "european" and not american. I didn't want to stand out, and be related with the "drunk stupid americans". I think I did a good job at it, I feel as though I don't stick out as much here, like I did in Sweden. Swedish, they were cool. They were so cool, and they looked so cool. Im not one for looking cool, or having the appearance of.. but Swedish people rocked my world. Okay, anyways, back to Oktoberfest. 

      Tents. You have these beer tents. You go early maybe 12 or 1 and get into a tent, you find a table, and you sit. you sit and you drink. You drink and then you drink, and then you drink. You have 3 and 1/2 beers, and you've drank almost a gallon of beer. If your in a "good" tent then it closes down around 4 or 5.. on the weekdays. Earlier on the weekends. So, the later it gets the louder, and more crowded it gets. You see the Bavarian people in their "traditional" clothing, and then the rest of the people. I was lucky enough to sit with 6 Hungarian guys. Most of which only knew Hungarian, and maybe a little bit of english. They were already drunk when we got there at 2, and it just got worse. They looked at women as if they were pieces of meat, they tried touching the girls, although they didn't dare to touch me. One tried to kiss my hand, I pulled back and he almost smoked his own face with his hand. (shoulder pat to me) and I just gave them all a cold shoulder, and tried not to look in their eyes. That would be dangerous. I sat there, and wondered how people could do this for hours on end, or days on end. It last for two weeks Oktoberfest, and I assume as time goes on it just gets crazier and crazier. Oh and you can order food, but its like such MANLY food. Huge chunks of meat, and whole chickens, and no silverware, okay there was silverware, but ooph. gross. i had mac and cheese, it was like i dont know 9 euro. like 16 dollars! yeah right so expensive. But it was good. So we hung out, and like I said the later it go the more drunk the people got, the more rowdy. There was traditional music, and people would stand up on the chairs/benches and sing, and yell and scream. It was quite the experience. I left happy I went, but not wanting to go back. At least I experienced Oktoberfest in Munich, something I can always say I did!

   So theres that. I'll post some photos soon of it. I haven't even uploaded them, or looked at them. But you'll see the madness.

    Today. Today was a completely different day. Mitja took me to a concentration camp. I wasn't sure what to expect. I wasn't sure how I would feel, if the camp would have a certain aura to it. How do you prepare for something like that? So we went. We walked in the same entrance that the prisoners entered in. On the iron gate it said, work makes you free or something translated along the lines of. We went into the building where they were first taken to have their dignity stripped away from them. They were forced to take their clothes off, and then shaved, and then into a disinfectant. I read alot, and I tried to take it all in. There was so much to read, and there was so much going through my brain. I was in this place, with my clothes that are warm, my scarf, my money in my pocket, on holiday in germany. I was surrounded by other westerners who were also warm, on holiday, and had some money in their pockets. All of us had the normal concerned look on the face, thinking  "this was horrible" "how could one person do this to another" "no one should ever be treated and humiliated like these people". I walked around, and tried to absorb what has going on around me, and what happened in these rooms. It was hard to think that such things happened in this room, and there was blood shed where my feet were standing. 

   I continued to walk around, and we went into another building where they would torture, and leave the prisoners in a dark room for days and maybe even months and not feed them but every fourth day. It was intense. We went into the barracks where it was made for 6 thousand, and 25000 were held. There beds were made of wood, and it looked just like the movies. It seemed like a movie. I read of the things they would do to the people, and couldn't imagine things like that to happen. We continued to the oven rooms, and the gas chamber. I walked in, and could imagine the corpses lying there dead, only skin and bone. The people who had to burn them, the smell of it. It was strange. The next room is where they told the 250 men that they were going to have a shower. The next, where they stripped them naked. the next the gas chamber. It was small, it was dark, and I could barely walk through it. I went fast through it, it gave me the creeps. the next room is where the dead bodies would lie. 

    I try not to be dramatic but while being there I realized we think what they did was so bad. But lets be honest here, things like that and worse are still happening in the world. The Germans chose not to see it, so they didn't have to feel guilty for not doing anything. If they knew that there was something they could do, then they would have to do it. We are doing the same, maybe we aren't in the third world war, but we are certainly not world that is loving towards others. We are living in a western world that denies the fact that there is other things going on in the world. We are not blind, but we choose to look the other way. We want what we want, we want to have things, and we want them cheap. So what does that mean? Sweatshops, people working for nothing at all in horrible conditions. A big diamond ring, and maybe its been smuggled in, and maybe someone has died because of that. Child slaves, child labour, human trafficking, women mutilation.. and more. These things are finally coming to light, but when will america see that its happening now in our age and we can do something about it. It maybe small, but it can be something. Not everyone is called to go to a different country literally fight, but some are called to write about it, to tell people about, to become educated. 

    As a christian, I think it is my duty to help. Its my duty to show Gods love to the people, and even to the people who beat,sell, and kill. Everyone deserves love. Jesus gave up his life for me, so I should be willing to give up my life for another. I live in the western world, where our problems are things like, oh I dont have enough money for this jacket that I want, or I can't decide which restaurant to go to. I want, I want, I want. I need this, I need a 5D Canon. I dont need it, I want it, but I don't need it. Its a problem. There are people who need food, they need a blanket, they need human contact. There are people will real problems, and I dont even know the beginnings of their problems. 

  Going there today made me realize that I'm a selfish person who tries to say that I care. But do I? I think that "oh how do people do this" "these people endured so much" and I hop back in my car, go to the grocery store, buy some bread and cookies, and have a coffee, go home to a nice house with a tv and computer, and bed, and blankets, and security and forget about what I just experienced. Oh that was 60 some odd years ago, that would never happen now. But its happening now, and its just in a different way.

   God was in that place, with those people. What are we to learn from them? I read about a preacher that was imprisoned, he brought God to those people. God brought hope. I want to bring God to people. I want to bring hope to the hopeless. I will not be blind to anymore. 


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