May 2009


Expect Deep Thoughts

Life is, right now, quite hectic.

The whirlwind of activity surrounding CQ’s visit to Weimar ends tomorrow morning when he boards a train for the airport and his trip back across the pond home.

It will be a sad moment—having guests is a catalyst for doing things in your hometown that you might otherwise have overlooked or skipped for whatever reason. When I visited a relative living in Phoenix, we went to places previously unvisited: the state capital and one of the world’s largest water fountains in one of its endless suburbs. Without me, the relative would never have gone.

With CQ, I did a lot of things I’ve done before. I’ve been to the Soap Box Races before; I’ve been to Kranichfeld before; and I’ve visited Erfurt—many times.

But until CQ came, I had successfully avoided Buchenwald (English).

Let me say right now that Buchenwald is a profoundly creepy place. Walking its grounds and seeing it in person is far different than my regular memorial sightings from my bedroom window.

I had some sort of sensory overload and because CQ has been here, I haven’t really had the time to pause and reflect in order to process everything I saw at the site. This is not something I can cavalierly toss aside—the emotional and psychological impact is great and for me difficult to talk about. Or write about.

Fortunately I’ve had great groundwork about the history before seeing the site—I can couch it from many perspectives—I could place it in the context of the greater story. Having been to Anne Frank’s House, having been to a major holocaust exhibit as a teen at Denver’s Museum of Natural History, having visited Kiev’s Great Patriotic War Museum and having had a decent holocaust education in the Denver Public Schools prepared me for the visit that I had postponed since moving here.

Now is when I need to reconcile everything.

It’s not easy.

4 comments to Expect Deep Thoughts

  • And don’t forget our trip to the Anne Frank exhibit @ the Amsterdam Museum (not the house).

  • Hey, by the way, any word on that mystery monument to U.S. soldiers you showed me?

  • @disenchanted: It’s certainly one piece of everything I’ve seen before…

    @cliff: No news. Neither person I have asked knows anything about it and I feel like I am at a dead end, not sure how or where to proceed. I might blog about it so that it gets greater visibility and maybe one of my local readers will feel like speaking up.

  • We visited Buchenwald last January. It was very somber and grey.

    Creepy describes it well.

    I never wrote anything on it, but you may have inspired me.