Day 4 (I think?) but those first few days ran together–one cannot be too sure what day it is when you have no cellular data and cannot rely on your phone to tell you everything and you have to talk to real people to understand public transportation instead of the ever-trusty google maps. Just kidding. It’s fun to talk to people here but their initial reaction is to not respond (does the *southern* accent throw them off?) but then to usually give a helpful response.
Today, we ate another phenomenal breakfast (it is my personal mission to try every coffee option that the fancy machine offers–today I tried something that tasted less like coffee and more like hot chocolate and I realized it was silly to waste a whole morning on hot chocolate so I compensated with a cappuccino which tasted like dirt [tasty dirt] after the HC). I DID try some of the scary eggs in a rectangular dish that continued to hold their shape when removed from the pan but I will probably (I mean definitely) not eat those again tomorrow.
Most of our morning was spent at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, a Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany, used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May 1945. It was extremely humbling to visit this site, walking the same paths that prisoners walked and touring the areas that they spent their time. I didn’t really know how I was going to feel but I was mostly repulsed at what we can do as humans to other people and realize we are still just as capable of doing this same thing. I’m really glad this memorial exists, as depressing as it is, to commemorate this site as it’s good to remember and be aware.
The site is really large and covers the entirety of a concentration camp. We had these speaker devices that would talk about each building/area, as you put the number corresponding to the area into your device. Often, those things are really boring but in this case, it was super helpful. It was chilling to walk through the prison, where people would be held in confinement or solitude for stupid reasons, like for talking back to a guard. The infirmary, where doctors would perform experimental surgeries on prisoners, was also pretty terrifying. The memorial did an incredible job of honoring the dead and I’m really glad we got to go.
For lunch, we pit-stopped at a bakery that sold primarily bread so my friend and I split a triangular shortbread and a cheese/ham roll. Very nutritional. The train ride back into the city was about 45 minutes and you know a sister was tuckered out after all the walking so I fell asleep (seems to be a theme?) but I was not alone this time. I believe I was well accompanied by a row of sleeping girls.
Dr. McGee and I split off from the group about this time. Most of the group wanted to see checkpoint charlie, as did I, but higher on my list of Berlin priorities was the Bauhaus-Archiv. A few semesters ago, I was in a modern art history class and we studied the Bauhaus. (Brief aside on what the Bauhaus is: it was a school that integrated craft with design and fine art that was incredibly influential in modern art and thinking. Because this school encouraged free thinking and creativity, it was later closed due to pressure from Hitler/the Nazis, when they were trying to streamline what everyone should think and create). The museum was really small but had a beautiful exhibit of art from past artists that had studied there, including a piece by PAUL KLEE !! The exhibit was centered around motion, so a good deal of the work was b&w photos of people participating in sports at the Bauhaus school or walking up stairs or studies of models in motion. The other room was an exhibit by living designer/artist Jasper Morrison. His exhibit was different home items he created, like furniture or kitchen utensils, but it was all in a very smooth/minimal/simple style.
We dined at a restaurant that specialized in I’m not sure what but I was trying to figure out the restaurant vibes because there was Mexican music, Italian bread and olives, German main dishes and other variables that contributed to me thinking it was a hodgepodge of cultures. I tried currywurst (you can find a photo below because I sunk to the epitome of tourist as I snapped a photo of my food) and it was fine and dandy but the real kicker is the amaretto that the restaurant gave us for free after dinner mind you I’ve never had amaretto but I sure will again because it tasted like drinking candy.
Back in our happy states, Beulah and I are sitting in bed where Beulah is watching youtube/editing her vlog (coming soon!) and I am eating chocolate. Enjoy pics of today and some from the other day that Beulah kindly sent to me.
Tschüss for now!