Friday, July 29, 2016

Berlin Day 2-Concentration Camp

Day 2 in Berlin was our second full day in this city. Today, I was looking forward to maintaining the pace I made on the first day by exploring more sites throughout the area. One of the main things that I have definitely noticed about Berlin is that it is such a large city. I remember when I was told that Berlin is very large and that people only cover so much of this area. This city really does require a lot of walking, but it is worth it to be able to see the different attractions throughout Berlin. Today, the main plan that we had was to take a tour of the concentration camp.

On our way to the camp, the thought that was going through my mind was what the camp actually looked like because it would give me a rough idea of what happened on camp grounds during the 1930s and 1940s. Our tour guide provided some very good background information on what to expect when we arrived at our stop. She explained the group that was behind the concentration camp and how they would exert their authority throughout the whole camp site.

When we arrived on camp grounds, I was amazed to see the size of the concentration camp. I remember seeing approximately 5 watch towers and multiple execution sites. It was a lot to experience, and I really felt for all the captives that went through these rough conditions. The two main thoughts which stuck out to me was the fact that the concentration camp leaders wanted to control the prisoners’ mindset and they constantly focused on division. For instance, the camp leaders performed executions at a site behind a wall and it was just enough for other prisoners to hear it, but not see it. They utilized this tactic to instill fear in prisoners’ minds. Secondly, camp leaders always categorized certain group into different sections, and they would actually brand each section by symbols such as a red triangle for political leaders. This camp was just a humbling experience for me, and it made think more about the importance of understanding history.