Munich: Day 1, Part I by Gianna Shepherd

We arrived at our hotel in Munich at approximately 4am.  Needless to say, I was groggy and tired and wondering what to expect of the weekend.
I have been to Munich once before in 2008 and I’ve heard nothing but great things about it from Anna in the FlorenceForFun office…but still, I had no idea this trip was about to start my new obsession with the city.
Fortunately, all of our students seemed to be happy with our accommodations and quietly went off to bed.
After a bit of sleep, Jackie, Anna and I set off to Dachau with some people from our trip.  I visited Auschwitz (Poland) a few years back so I was emotionally prepared for it.  In a way, I was almost excited because my cousin had been a couple of years ago so I was interested to see what he had seen and also to share the experience with him.
On the train ride over, I remembered reading Anne Frank’s Diary when I was twelve years old and how deeply connected to her I felt.  Of course I can never comprehend what her life must have been like, but I remember feeling like we would have been friends if we had been alive at the same time.
In fact, I think it was Anne Frank that not only inspired me to keep a diary but to give it a name as well.
Upon arriving at Dachau, I grabbed myself an audio guide and a map and set off to take a step back into a very dark time.
Ironically, it doesn’t feel or really look like a place where such outsandingly horrible things happened.  Much like Auschwitz, it is just an open field surrounded by trees with some buildings sprinkled about as the only reminder of the past.  It is quite peaceful, actually.
With that being said, as I walked around listening to the history and the chilling interviews with survivors and liberators it became very clear that Dachau was everything but peaceful.
Anyway, the question that kept running over and over in my mind was, “but humans did this to other humans? And all for what?”.
Isn’t that always the question?  All for WHAT?


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