On our second day in Berlin we went to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. It was my first time seeing a concentration camp and it took me a little by surprise. You learn in school about the holocaust, but for the most part you pretend it happened in another realm. It was before we were alive, in a place most of us have never been and ya It affected a bunch of our families, including my own, but It's easier just to pretend it happened in another world because one disgruntled evil man decided to start a war. You picture concentration camps isolated from the rest of society, from the rest of the world. They're not though. The main purpose of concentration camps was to work people, that means they produced a lot of goods, which needed to be transported. The need for transportation means most concentration camps were near major railway lines. They weren't isolated in another world, they were in towns, where bystanders could see what was happening
The holocaust didn't occur because of one evil man, it involved an entire world. This isn't saying anything bad about Germany or Germans. If there is one thing you take from my blog it's that Germany is so much more than the World War II. The culture here is welcoming and accepting, honestly more accepting than American culture. Obviously it was different 70 years ago, but the world was different 70 years ago. What happened here was more a result of the aftermath of World War I, the result of a negative environment more than anything. The times were hard and it was easy to just succumb to hate. It's cliche, but hatred blinds us, it takes away reason and can make it easy to commit horrible acts; it's also something we are all capable of feeling.
The most startling realization of the whole visit is the ease with which this could occur again. Looking back what happened was so horrible, but at the time it was just a slow progression of hateful acts until murdering large groups of people just seemed like the status quo. Genocides have occurred after World War 2 and are still occurring now. People continue to remain silent as thousands are wrongly killed. All of this is just because of hate. If people could dispel whatever hateful views they have and view everyone as fellow people, and not just brash stereotypes that can't love or hurt. I guess the main thought I got from all this is that we have to be incredibly aware of our own hatred and prejudice. We all have it, we all forget that the people and figures we hate are just as human as we are. The heights of human kindness are infinite, but so too are the depths of hatred.