Tomorrow I have to be at the airport at 6 am Germany time. I won’t be home until 10 pm Eastern Standard Time. The international flight will be at least 7 to 8 hours. At the end of this long, wonderful journey I’ll look back and remember the friends I’ve made, the fun I’ve had, and everything amazing I’d seen and discovered. At a farewell speech at the goodbye party last night I said, “Mein einziger wunsch is es dass wir uns eines Tages wiedersehen.” My only wish is that one day, we may meet again. Hopefully I get the opportunity to see my friends and host family from Germany again. I could never reciprocate the great favor they have done for me. I can’t thank them enough, and I will miss everybody dearly.
I’m gonna be leaving Germany in a couple days. People are already starting to say their goodbyes and its starting to get really sad. I don’t want to leave just yet. Another week would be nice. There’s the possibility I’ll never see these people again because I’ll have graduated by the time they come visit America in October 2013. I vow to do everything in my power to return to Germany some day whether its via college, the Army, or by my own means.
Went to Potsdam today. All I can say is that it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. The Neues Palais and Cecilienhof are breathtaking.
Today I visited the Buchenwald concentration camp complex. It was eerily calm there and the weather was very nice and sunny, in stark contrast to the events which had occurred there over 70 years ago. All of the prisoner barracks were bulldozed in the 1950s, but the block markers and layout of the original camp are still there. The parking lot is the former SS parade ground adjacent to the SS barracks. The main path took us to the front gate where so many Jews, Gypsies, Poles, Soviet POWs, Homosexuals, political prisoners, and other “enemies” of the Nazi state were brought. Buchenwald wasn’t built for extermination, but was a work camp built for the purpose of making war materials. I felt a great sense of sadness throughout the time I was there. The worst part was the crematorium. The entrance was the former medical room where doctors performed medical experiments on live and deceased inmates. The next room was a storage room for corpses, and the next room over were where the ovens were housed. Downstairs was another room for the storage of bodies and where prisoners were tortured by strangulation via hooks mounted on the walls. Another room was the room where unhealthy workers were brought en masse to be killed by gunshot I’ve never been to a more solemn, tragic place and its an experience I won’t soon forget.
Now that its the weekend, we have lots of free time. After our tiring three day tour of Berlin, I can finally relax a bit. I’m going to ride a bike up to another village to meet with some of the German students I’ve befriended to watch soccer, play the guitar, and anything else we can think of. On Sunday, I’ll visit Buchenwald concentration camp. I still have yet to post any pics from Berlin but will do that within a week. My host family is supposed to be getting faster internet installed on Tuesday. So far, this trip is more than I could have dreamed of.
Just got back from a long three days in Berlin touring such sites as der Branderburger Tor, der Riechstag, and the former location of the Berlin Wall. I’m very tired now.
I made it to Germany. Not sure how many hours ago, must be the jet lag. Its 2 in the morning over here. Gonna go back to bed and post more tomorrow.
Is pretty hard to believe that I’m actually going to Germany tomorrow. Three weeks I’ll be gone, and taking picture after picture. I’ll keep a little documentation of what I do while I’m over there.