Germany: Day 4

Our last day in Munich began with a Tetris-like geometrical puzzle: how to fit 14 suitcases and an equal number of backpacks in a 2 foot wide supply closet. Having (eventually) successfully stored our luggage, we ate one more hostel breakfast before taking a suburban train to the village of Dachau and its namesake concentration camp, the first in Germany’s ultimately vast system. The group spent several hours touring some of the original buildings, along with reconstructed barracks, guided along by incredibly detailed and moving displays, punctuated, as always, by Mr Hornor’s thoughtful analysis.

After returning to Munich, an even more complicated unstacking of our bags finally allowed us to drag our suitcases, some rolling more efficiently than others, to the Munich Hauptbahnhof for our nearly six-hour train ride to Berlin. First, though, one last stocking-up on Bavarian pastries, pretzels, and sandwiches. And, for some reason, the not-available-in-America Paprika Flavored Pringles.

Six hours is a long time, but it flies by when your chaperones force you to spend most of it working on physics, or calculus, or English. Arriving in Berlin wiser than before, we then took three subway lines to end up in our beautiful, historic hostel, a former bishop’s home that survived the World War II bonbing of Berlin. With a long day behind us, the group will tackle a walking tour of Berlin and a visit to the world-renowned Philharmonie tomorrow.

Dachau entry gate
Detail of Germany’s massive system of camps
Drawing by a prisoner of Dachau roll call
View of memorial and model of camp
Prisoners greeting the arrival of American liberators
Inside a Dachau prison cell
Door into cell
Jewish memorial site at Dachau
View of site of barracks
Catholic memorial site at Dachau

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