Castles & concentration camps: Germany Part 2

On our second day in Germany we woke up to a rather overcast and gloomy sky. Given the gloomy weather, we decided that would be the perfect day to visit Dachau.  My dad's side of the family is Jewish so the trip was important for us to make.

Dachau isn't the cheeriest of places, for obvious reasons. After watching a video on the camp, we took the audio guide tour. Kara and I headed out on our own to explore. We visited a model of the barracks, saw the original crematorium and gas chambers & wandered around the grounds.

Walking in the gas chambers & crematorium you can feel the presence of all those that past through there before. It was an eerie, heart-wrenching feeling. Kara & I stood facing the system that kept prisoners confined within the camp and discussed what we would have done had we been imprisoned there. After visiting Dachau I have a new appreciation for what so many people, from Jews to gypsies to priests to political opponents, went through in camps like Dachau. I believe it's important to face these realities. Without facing them, we are doomed to repeat them. While places like Dachau should never be glorified, they cannot be ignored either. They remind us to be humane and respect the dignity of every person, whether we like them or not. It is also important to remember who perpetrated the crimes in the concentration camps & hold the proper people accountable. The citizens of Germany as a whole are not responsible, especially not the citizens that currently live there.
We ended the day on a cheerier note with an impromptu trip to Nymphenburg Palace. While we could only see part of the castle, the whole family had entirely too much fun wandering around what we could see. Dad made up stories for many of the paintings we saw, titling one "The Original Captain Crunch" and another "Mom I Killed All Our Pets." Across the room from "Mom I Killed All Our Pets" was "I Killed All Our Pets Again." We had an entire story worked out for Ludwig II. We got a good glare out of one of the guards in one room: we were all laughing so hard we were in tears.

The palace was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon, especially following Dachau. We chased a few swans, befriended a duck with funny feet & ambled through the palace at our own pace.
We ended our day with a trip to Kaufhof, a department store in downtown Munich. While we weren't shopping for clothes we were shopping for something even better: chocolate! We wound up wandering into a chocolate lovers paradise in the Kaufhof basement. They had every sort of chocolate flavor imaginable, most of which was at rather cheap prices.

Another famous German candy? The gummy bear! Kaufhof didn't stop with gummy bears though: they had gummy fried eggs, gummy salamanders, gummy cats, gummy mice, gummy penguins, gummy everything. There was even a store devoted to gummy candies across the way. They sold beer glasses full of gummies (oh and gummy penises). I ended up with two different flavors of Rittersport chocolate (peppermint & strawberry), a bar of Lindt chocolate (mango & cayenne) and a sampling of gummy shapes (all child appropriate).
If I may say so myself, day two in Munich was just as wonderful as day one.

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