Monthly Archives: September 2016

Reader, reader, pumpkin-eater

A couple of days ago Aleshanee shared a post on Twitter by Mikka from Mikka liest (Mikka reads) about what it means to be well-read, in addition DarkFairy posted another review that made me look through her reading challenges and all of this made me think (again).
With my affinity to procrastinate I’d like to dwell a bit on these thoughts instead of what I actually should be writing…

Am I well-read?

Mikka’s points about what it means to be well-read can be basically summed up to:

You’re well read if you read more than one book from all kind of genres – even outside your comfort zone – in differing difficulty.

I agree with her sentiment (and hope the summary is correct) and enjoyed her reasoning leading to this, but what does that mean for me?

I don’t want to make my own definition, I’d like to try using the main points of the statement to try figuring out if I would consider myself to be well-read.

#1 Diversity

The majority of books I read are in the fantasy genre, but thanks to school and different interests I also picked up a few classics and non-fiction books, but that still doesn’t make it that widely spread, even if a few of them differ greatly from my usual reads.

Though, that doesn’t mean that I don’t know things about books/topics/stuff I only have on my to-read list or just heard/read about in reviews/articles.

In addition do I read all kinds of (web)comics, manga, short stories(, fanfictions, etc.) ranging from fantasy up to slice of life stuff, so there is a bit more variation there.

#2 Quantity

Okay, this point is probably the one that bugs me the most. With readers like Aleshanee and Mikka, who read between 100-200 books a year or Evanesca, DarkFairy and SaJaehwa, who manage 30-80 books a year, you have quite some competition.
That is, if you view reading as a competition.
Which it technically isn’t, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel like it.

When I look through my statistics on Goodreads it’s apparent that my reading habits aren’t really that regular. There are years where I haven’t read anything or just a few measly books and then there are years where the book count rises above 20. In total I seemingly haven’t even managed to read as much books in my entirely life as Aleshanee does in a year.

I do consider myself a fast reader, I manage to finish a ~200 pages book in about a week, only by reading on the bus (~1h total) and I think I manage 60 pages per hour on average, but there are times when I either don’t have the time to read (car-commute) or I just don’t feel like it – which is kind of my main reason for not reading – or I’m using the bus to draft stories instead.

Though this does also mean that keeping up with challenges isn’t really my thing. I started two in 2014 (BiblioSmile’s Summer Book Challenge 2014 and DarkFairy’s Alphabet Reading Challenge), that I still haven’t finished as I keep putting other books between actually reading the ones on those lists … I’m just no good with schedules. 😉

It feels frustrating, when I compare my reading list to others‘, but when I think about the (web)comics, manga, short stories(, fanfictions, etc.) I also read – that I don’t have on my Goodreads list – it evens out a little, but it still doesn’t feel the same. Why not?

#3 Difficulty

Because one could argue about the challenge they pose and if you could even count (web)comics and manga as „books“, as they are „just“ stories with pictures.
Though things like The Sandman are quite difficult to read …

Some of the other books weren’t easy either, but being the stubborn person I am I powered through even if it was exhausting at times. I also don’t shy away from longer reads if I feel like reading the book, I just sometimes don’t feel like starting them, but that’s mostly because of the topic.
I also don’t mind just reading YA or not so challenging stuff, though I stay away from the entirely lovey-dovey stuff as I just can’t stand it … I already make fun of the stuff I linked above (not challenging-link), no need to give my jokes more fuel …

I kind of also increase the difficulty by reading books in English – recently I even read something in Russian! 😀 *proud* – which has me not just reading, but learn new words/phrases in the process.

So at least my difficulty is differing, I guess.

Conclusion

Apart from the fact that I chose a ridiculous title* and spread the same alliterations throughout it, do I feel a bit more comfortable with just reading about 20 books a year.

And looking at all the stuff I wrote above: I do believe I’m well-read.
Even if I’m not actually reading that much. 😉

What do you think about this? Do you consider yourself well-read?

PoiSonPaiNter

P.S. If anyone needs help with the German posts, just let me know.
* I blame that entirely on Halloween approaching and me thinking about travelling to Ireland again … anyone interested in accompanying me? 😉

Liebster Award #2

Okay, so I skipped three weeks of posting something (with good reasons, I assure you!) and you just get a measly tag instead. Sorry, I guess, but let me explain before I get further into it.
Skip-Week  #1: On Monday I could finally move back into my flat, well my furniture at least. I still had to get a new fridge (Hugo III. moved in on Wednesday) and carpet and basically clean everything. As I still commuted I was too exhausted to write anything.
Skip-Week #2: Cue the unpacking! I still have a long way to go as I took some liberties in my break-schedule, but that’s basically what I did.
Skip-Week #3: We’re currently in it, and you should get the long overdue WWW, but as I got down with a flue-thingy – that is kind of improving by now – I really didn’t feel like concentrating too much.
Instead I thought I dig up this old thing from a tag back in August 2015 (yes, last year) by Fissel to at least give you something to read on here. So, thank you Fissel and sorry for the delay. 😉
As the title suggests is this my second Liebster Award, so I’m just quoting the first one to tell you what the Award is about – if you don’t already know it:

It is used for getting out the word for unknown Blogs.
Liebster is [also] the German word for beloved partner or darling, in the Blogging sense, to me, it means a Blog you hold dear and greatly enjoy reading. So for me it is an honour to be granted this award and be able to give it to other Blogs I like.

Now for the Rules:

  • Thank the Blogger who nominated you.
  • Link to the Blogger who nominated you.
  • Add one of the „Liebster-Blog-Award“ Buttons to your post.
  • Answer the Questions.
  • Create 11 new Questions for the Bloggers you nominate.
  • Nominate 5-11 new Blogger with less than 300 Followers.
  • Inform the Blogger in a comment about their nomination

Fissel’s Questions*

(* as translated from her Blog)

  1. Why is it so hard for me to come up with a first question? Is it the same for you?
    The first question is probably always the hardest, because you have to get into the whole spirit of „What do I want to ask this other person?“. It’s the ice-breaker to start a conversation that gets the whole thing rolling. You put pressure on yourself to make it interesting, but in the end that doesn’t always work out, so you go back to what you feel comfortable with (in this case, asking others why it’s hard for you 😉 ). Am I close?I prefer setting the entire tone of a series of questions first before starting on individual ones, so it’s not that hard for me, I think…
  2. What do you like doing in public, that you’re not serious about, only because you’re amused by other people’s reaction?
    Hmm…good question… Probably my very dry/sarcastic jokes, even if they are only semi-public as I only tell them to the people I’m interacting with at that moment. At least most people don’t get I’m making a joke when they don’t know me that well and the reactions are always quite fun…
  3. What was the worst pick-up line you’ve ever heard/read?
    I don’t remember…pick-up lines are generally quite stupid, so all of them?
  4. You’re part of an accident/get sick. What would be the worst that could happen to you?
    I hope I understood this question correctly. Aside from the obvious „being responsible for someone else’s death“ and dying, is losing my eye sight or sense of hearing probably the worst that could happen to me.
  5. Your ex starts a relationship with one of your friends shortly after you broke up. How would you react?
    Depends I guess. If it is sudden and without warning that those two were already attracted to each other while we were dating, I’d probably be very shocked and feel betrayed. If all parties talked about the situation beforehand, I think I might even be the one pushing them to try it…
  6. What’s your opinion on friends who’d do something like Question 5? Would that be okay, not okay or okay under certain circumstances?
    Again, depends. If it’s a consensual decision from all parties, I’d probably stay friends. If they just up and did it, I’d end the friendship with both parties. Unless I’m not part of this then I usually stick with the party that’s left behind, if it’s the second kind of split up.
  7. Would you study the same/get the same job again?
    No, I’d probably study proper Computer Science and not Computer Science and Business Management…or something entirely different…
  8. Your pet can suddenly talk to you. Do you think you’re on drugs or do you simply consider it to be awesome?
    Probably both – apart from the fact that I don’t have a pet. I’d be highly confused where that voice came from at first, but if it kept happening I’d accept it quite fast and feel very privileged and awesome about it. 😀
  9. What do you think was the first word you ever said?
    Mama or Papa probably, I think I had this conversation with my Mum, but I forgot which one it was…
  10. Which might be your last words?
    I don’t really want to know. Those words could give me a clue as to what happens, so no spoilers, please. 😉
  11. And last but not least: How would you describe the mood I was in while coming up with the questions?
    You were in a very complicated mood. Potentially someone dumped you in a very harsh way and you were still not over it, in addition to that did you want to finish a post for your Blog, but weren’t really in the mood for it so you churned out a few standard questions in addition to getting an opinion on your situation and called it a day. So, basically your mind was all over the place. 🙂

And the Nominees are…

As I’m seeing the Liebster-Award as something to give to people, who’s writing I enjoy I nominate Blogs that I enjoy reading, even if they probably already met the 300 Followers count.

  • Eve Estelle – Edge of Night: Fascinating poems, prompts and ideas and a great partner for discussions. After winning her writing competition twice and following her journey as a poet, I think, it’s time about to give something back.
  • Joseph – What’s Best In Life?: Want to read interesting and honest reviews on different media? Look right here! Well, if your German is good enough. 😉
  • Wren Collins – Cobweb Queen: In her vivisecting Supernatural-series we had a lot of interesting discussions. She has a great eye for details and connections and doesn’t stray from sharing them in a very fascinating way.

And that’s basically it. I’m not really a fan of the whole „nominating“ thing – especially as I can’t remember if anyone ever accepted one of my tags. These of course are not the only Blogs I follow, but some Bloggers were already nominated with other tags and for another tag, I still have lying around, I have a few other people in mind.

My Questions:

Okay, I admit I’m lazy again, but as none of my nominees from last time ever reacted, I’ll just recycle the questions and add an eleventh one, as I really like them…

  1. What is the best experience you ever had on a concert/at a festival/convention or any other social gathering?
  2. What is the strangest decoration you have at home?
  3. Are you collecting something? If so: What and why?
  4. What was your favourite plushy when you were a kid and what happened to it?
  5. If you had the choice: Would you start Blogging again and about the same topics you cover/ed?
  6. What do you prefer: A handwritten letter, a long e-mail or a short message on the phone/a social network?
  7. Which of your posts/categories you write in is dearest to you?
  8. Which movie/book/series/etc. would you like to read/watch/etc. again for the first time?
  9. What is the place you’ve always wanted to travel to, but so far hadn’t had the chance to do so?
  10. How much time could you spent without using any kind of digital formats/mediums? (Internet, mp3s, e-books, etc.)
  11. What is more frustrating? Discovering an incredible story/show only to find out that it was discontinued/cancelled or following a story/show (for years) that concludes in a very unsatisfying ending/finale?

Have fun, I know I’d like answering those questions. 😉
PoiSonPaiNter
P.S. I know I posted two buttons, but I simply took the picture from Fissel’s Blog, so it’s her fault… 😉

On the Road: Through a bit of Germany 2014 – Pt. 2: KZ Ravensbrück

Lies auf Deutsch
With the anniversary of the beginning of WW2 today and regional elections, where brown-ish parties have a far too high chance of joining the state parliament, approaching, I decided that it was about time that I posted this second part 2 of my Journey through a bit of Germany 2014. If you remember from part 1 did I try to do something different and selected destinations for the end of the day and stopped wherever I felt like it on my way there. Unlike the first part is this just about one stop, as it deserves its own post.

Day 1/2 – Stop 7: KZ Ravensbrück

The exhibition hall and official entrance

The exhibition hall and official entrance


As part of my Journey Through a bit of Germany 2014 I made a stop at the Memorial for the Woman’s Concentration Camp (KonzentrationslagerKZ) Ravensbrück near Fürstenberg/Havel.
Like I told you with my last post, did I want to explore a bit on my own and Ravensbrück became my first major destination for that and I had made arrangements for accommodation there. After I arrived during the evening, I got my keys and had a brief look inside my room before I set off to Himmelpfort (see last post). When I returned it was still early, but already too late to properly have a look around the exhibitions, so I just strolled a bit through the grounds instead.

Simple yet horrifying

All around the area they have small and large markers telling you what a part used to be. One of the first that caught my attention was for a small way between two buildings. It doesn’t look like anything special, just a plain, small way, broud enough to stand in, that for me became one of the places I felt tears welling up inside me: This simple way was used for executing hundreds of women (“Erschießungsgang” in German). I took a photograph to show you the contradiction of this, but I deleted it, as it didn’t seem appropriate to keep.
Just beside the way is a building that didn’t look like anything special either that housed the crematorium. Three iron – I guess – ovens standing in line, silently telling of their former use. I am honestly one of those people that couldn’t care less about other people’s – at least those I never knew – miseries, but I was barely able to step inside that room. I only had one foot inside and I retracted it as soon as I had seen everything from the door. My deepest respect for those who were able to get inside to put paper crane chains, flowers and other things on the fence that cut off the room for the audience. I couldn’t bear it to get any closer.
A little behind the crematorium is a prison complex. Again I only took a few steps inside to see that it was part of an exhibition and decided to look at it the next day. Just with this short look I already had a feeling of dread and the need to get out again, before disturbing the place any further.

The look towards Fürstberg

The look towards Fürstenberg


Right beside the complex and across from the crematorium starts a long wall with iron lettered names of several different countries. In front of it is a field filled with small gray pebbles and signs claiming:

“This was the place where the gas chamber stood that took the lives of thousands of women and children from more than twenty different countries”

Four memorial plates are put onto what now became a grave field. The first two telling what I wrote above, the third remembering the Sinti and Roma and the fourth remembering the Jewish victims. The field stretches as long as the wall with the country names that beside Germany include: France, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Great Britain, Spain, Romania, Hungary, Poland and more.
Behind the field is a wall that closes off an actual graveyard, but I only had a look at it from afar.
If you think the contradiction of the way was bad then I probably shouldn’t mention that the first picture on the side is right across from the grave field. A beautiful lake side with Fürstenberg in the background. It is partly morbid, partly fascinating how something like that can be at a place so horrible.

Not really a walk in the park…

When I had looked at the prison complex I had seen a field behind it and on my way back I went off to look at a few more buildings and found the entrance to it. Across a vast field that took about twenty minutes (This is about the time that past from when I last talked about the time with a woman from the staff until I checked it later; it makes more sense that only so little had past, but it felt way longer) to cross, lay the ruins and dug out remnants of the other complexes: Working offices, canteen, prison blocks, roll call area and right at the end a dressmaking shop, one of the few buildings that are still standing. Unlike my initial intention to only have a look at a couple of signs I walked all the way to the last building, trying to not let the bizarreness of the situation and the weird feeling I had, get to me. The field is covered with different kinds of pebbles: Small dark ones marking a pathway, grayish larger ones everything else. Where ever there used to be a building there is now a depression in the ground and there are many (about twenty in total if I remember the sign correctly).

A look at the lake from the entrance

A look at the lake from the entrance building


When I reached the dressmaking shop I had a look at my watch, as I knew the exhibitions would close around six. As I still had about half an hour left until then I went inside and was greeted by creepy statues, created by an artist to symbolize the different inmates. With an even stranger feeling I crossed the whole hallway as well and only had a peek into the adjacent rooms, not daring to get inside. With a feeling as if someone would lock me in any minute I went back to the entrance as soon as possible.
As I didn’t want to return the way I came I left the path and walked behind the building towards were this walk had initially started. Shortly towards the end even came grass again where I could walk beside ruins of other buildings, like a laundry.
When I had left the field I passed a sign that told me that what was around me – the garages – were used by Soviet soldiers after they had freed the camp until 1977 and I remembered my dad telling me that when he was here during his army-time they had to pass these soldiers.

Life beside the camp

Other buildings used by the Soviets were the so-called “Führerhäuser” (Führer houses) that stand on small hills overlooking the camp. Initially the male officers – and I think their families – in charge of the camp lived in them, now one of them  holds an exhibition about the houses‘ history. The inside of the house was far from what it had originally been like, as the Soviets refurbished and remodelled the rooms to house, I think, up to a dozen men. You could still see the original style – that was frankly quite beautiful with lots of wooden ornaments, but not everywhere.
Between them, the barracks and the field is also a large house with a changing exhibition. I can’t remember what it was about when I was there, I kind of only skimmed through it. The building used to be an office I believe – and it’s still partly used as such.
A bit outside of the ground stand the housings for the Guard women, one of them now holds an exhibition about their way of living, their work and their crimes and the others are part of the Youth Hostel, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

All of these buildings are part of the camp, but yet parted from it through distance, walls and gates, showing how different the life must have been for inmates and guards.

Personal impression

If I haven’t overlooked anything then the whole area holds six permanent and one changing exhibition, but during the night I decided to only look through the one in the entrance building and after that the three exhibitions mentioned above.

Walking the ground, with nearly no one else to see was strange and unlike my intention to just explore this on my own, I really would have liked to have someone with me. Though I doubt that even then I would have dared to look at the exhibition that would provide me with faces for the victims, I don’t think I could bear that knowledge.

One of the Guard Houses

One of the Guard Houses


While I wrote the draft for this I sat on my bed in the Youth Hostel (Jugendherberge) I stayed at for the night, in a house that used to house the female personnel of the camp, a Guard House. It was not until I woke up and realized that it was half past Midnight – directly within the ghost hour – and my inability to find sleep again that I decided to type this down right away. Even while my Laptop was making its usual noises I could still hear the unusual ones from outside: Wind or frogs/toads that sounded like broken screams, a dogs bark that reminded me of shouted commands and well the general quietness of the place. It already felt strange from the moment I settled into my room, but during the night it became worse and even though it was nearly half past two I was wide awake and unwilling to return to sleep until I gave in around four.
I’m glad that I cut out Sachsenhausen as second major destination. If I already want someone with me here I doubt going there would have been any different.

Important Heritage

In a lot of German schools it is mandatory to visit at least one Concentration Camp – not mine, at least not my class. While I was there, there were at least two school groups, though one of them was probably a bit too young to understand everything (sixth grade maybe?). They ran around playing hide and seek between the Guard Houses, laughed and were generally quite noisy and that just felt wrong for a place like this.
Students have to get an understanding for history and memorials like this, that keep it alive, are an essential part of this. With all the stuff happening in the world, especially the rising influence of brown-ish parties, it’s more and more important that people learn about our past and most of all learn from it to not let anything like it happen again.
On a completely different note: A couple of KZs were also in the news recently as they ordered that you should not be able to catch Pokémon on their grounds. Hunting Koffings or Weezings (Gas-Based Pokémon) or the Gastly-line (Ghost Pokémon) there, is pretty morbid and inappropriate, but also a bit ironic and fitting. It could encourage people to go there, but most would probably ignore the learning aspect of the trip and simply concentrate on the catching.
Well, this concludes this part of the Journey.
Have you ever visited a KZ? What were your experiences?
Do you think it’s a good idea to keep such places as a memorial?
What you can expect from the upcoming posts:

  • Day 2: Fürstenberg -> Radis
  • Day 3: Radis -> Halle (Saale)
  • (The rest of the Journey: Halle, Koblenz, Kassel)

Stay tuned. I hope it wont take me that long to get the other parts up.
PoiSonPaiNter
____________________________
Read in English
Mit dem heutigen Jahrestag des Beginns des 2. Weltkrieges  und den Landtagswahlen, bei denen bräunliche Parteien eine viel zu hohe Chance haben, dem Landtag beizutreten, fand ich, dass es an der Zeit ist, diesen zweiten Teil 2 meiner Reise durch Deutschland 2014 zu veröffentlichen. Wenn ihr euch an Teil 1 erinnert, habe ich versucht, etwas anderes zu tun und ausgewählte Ziele für das Ende eines Tages auszuwählen und habe auf dem Weg dorthin, da angehalten, wo mir gefiel. Im Gegensatz zum ersten Teil ist dies nur ein einziger Stopp, da er seinen eigenen Beitrag verdient.

Tag 1/2 – Stop 7: KZ Ravensbrück

The exhibition hall and official entrance

Die Ausstellungshalle und der offizielle Eingang


Im Rahmen meiner Reise durch Deutschland 2014 machte ich einen Zwischenstopp an der Gedenkstätte für das Konzentrationslager (KZ) Ravensbrück bei Fürstenberg/Havel.
Wie ich schon in meinem letzten Beitrag gesagt habe, wollte ich ein wenig auf eigene Faust erkunden und Ravensbrück wurde mein erstes großes Reiseziel dafür und ich hatte mir eine Unterkunft in der Nähe besorgt. Nachdem ich abends angekommen war, holte ich meine Schlüssel und schaute kurz in mein Zimmer, bevor ich mich auf den Weg nach Himmelpfort machte (siehe letzter Beitrag). Als ich zurückkam, war es noch früh, aber schon zu spät, um mich in den Ausstellungen richtig umzusehen, sodass ich stattdessen nur ein wenig über das Gelände schlenderte.

Einfach und doch erschreckend

Überall auf dem Gelände haben sie kleine und große Markierungen aufgestellt, die einem sagen, was ein Teil früher war. Einer der ersten, der meine Aufmerksamkeit erregte, war ein kleiner Gang zwischen zwei Gebäuden. Es sieht nicht nach irgendetwas Besonderem aus, nur ein schlichter, kleiner Weg, der  breit genug, um darin zu stehen, der für mich zu einem der Orte wurde, an denen mir die Tränen aufstiegen: Dieser einfache Gang wurden Hunderte von Frauen hingerichtet („Erschießungsgang“). Ich habe ein Foto gemacht, um den Widerspruch zu zeigen, aber ich habe es gelöscht, da es mir nicht angemessen erschien, es zu behalten.
Gleich daneben befindet sich ein Gebäude, das ebenso wie nichts Besonderes aussah und in dem sich das Krematorium befand. Drei Eisenöfen – glaub ich – stehen in einer Reihe und erzählen leise von ihrer früheren Verwendung. Ich gehöre ehrlich gesagt zu jenen Menschen, denen das Elend anderer Menschen egal ist – zumindest jenen, die ich nie kannte -, aber ich war kaum in der Lage diesen Raum zu betreten. Ich hatte nur einen Fuß drin und zog ihn wieder raus, sobald ich alles von der Tür aus gesehen hatte. Mein tiefster Respekt für diejenigen, die es geschafft haben, hineinzugehen, um Papierkranich-Ketten, Blumen und andere Dinge auf den Zaun zu legen, der den Raum für das Publikum abschneidet. Ich konnte es nicht ertragen, näher heranzugehen.
Etwas hinter dem Krematorium befindet sich ein Gefängniskomplex. Auch hier machte ich nur ein paar Schritte hinein, um zu sehen, dass es Teil einer Ausstellung war, und beschloss, sie am nächsten Tag anzuschauen. Gerade bei diesem kurzen Blick hatte ich schon ein Gefühl von Angst und dem Bedürfnis, wieder rauszugehen, bevor ich den Ort weiter störte.

The look towards Fürstberg

Der Ausblick Richtung Fürstenberg


Direkt neben dem Komplex und gegenüber dem Krematorium beginnt eine lange Mauer mit eisernen Namen verschiedener Länder. Davor befindet sich ein Feld, gefüllt mit kleinen grauen Kieselsteinen und Schildern, die sagen:

„Hier stand die Gaskammer, die tausenden Frauen und Kindern aus mehr als zwanzig verschiedenen Ländern das Leben nahm.“

Vier Gedenktafeln werden auf das heutige Grabfeld gelegt. Die ersten beiden erzählen, was ich oben geschrieben habe, die dritte erinnert an die Sinti und Roma und die vierte an die jüdischen Opfer. Das Feld erstreckt sich so lange, wie die Mauer mit den Ländernamen, die neben Deutschland auch Frankreich, Niederlande, Dänemark, Norwegen, Großbritannien, Spanien, Rumänien, Ungarn, Polen und andere Länder trägt.
 
Hinter dem Feld ist eine Mauer, die einen echten Friedhof abschließt, aber ich habe ihn mir nur von Weitem angesehen.
Wenn ihr denkt, dass der Widerspruch des Weges schlimm war, dann sollte ich wohl nicht erwähnen, dass das erste Bild auf der Seite genau gegenüber des Grabfelds ist. Eine wunderschöner Seeblick mit Fürstenberg im Hintergrund. Es ist teils morbid, teils faszinierend, wie so etwas an einem so schrecklichen Ort sein kann.

Nicht wirklich ein Spaziergang im Park….

Als ich mir den Gefängniskomplex angesehen hatte, hatte ich ein Feld dahinter gesehen und auf dem Rückweg ging ich los, um mir ein paar weitere Gebäude anzusehen und fand den Eingang dazu. Über ein riesiges Feld verteilt, dessen Überquerung ungefähr zwanzig Minuten dauerte (Das ist ungefähr die Zeit, die vergangen ist, von dem Zeitpunkt an als ich das letzte Mal mit einer Frau vom Personal über die Zeit sprach, bis ich sie später überprüfte; es macht mehr Sinn, dass nur so wenig vergangen war, aber es fühlte sich viel länger an), lagen die Ruinen und ausgegrabene Reste von anderen Komplexen: Arbeiterbüros, Kantine, Gefängnisblocks, Appellplatz und gleich am Ende eine Schneiderei, eines der wenigen Gebäude, die noch stehen. Im Gegensatz zu meiner ursprünglichen Absicht, nur einen Blick auf ein paar Markierungen zu werfen, ging ich den ganzen Weg bis zum letzten Gebäude und versuchte, die Bizarrheit der Situation und das seltsame Gefühl, das ich hatte, nicht an mich heran zu lassen. Das Feld ist mit verschiedenen Arten von Kieselsteinen bedeckt: Kleine dunkle, die einen Weg markieren, graue, größere, alles andere. Wo immer es früher ein Gebäude gab, gibt es jetzt eine Vertiefung im Boden und es gibt viele (insgesamt etwa zwanzig, wenn ich mich richtig erinnere).

A look at the lake from the entrance

Ein Blick auf den See vom Eingangsgebäude aus


Als ich in der Schneiderei ankam, schaute ich auf die Uhr, denn ich wusste, dass die Ausstellungen um sechs schließen würden. Da mir bis dahin noch etwa eine halbe Stunde Zeit blieb, ging ich hinein und wurde von gruseligen Statuen begrüßt, die von einem Künstler geschaffen wurden, um die verschiedenen Insassen zu symbolisieren. Mit einem noch merkwürdigeren Gefühl überquerte ich auch den ganzen Flur und warf nur einen Blick in die angrenzenden Räume und wagte es nicht, hineingehen. Mit dem Gefühl, als ob mich jemand jede Minute einsperren würde, ging ich so schnell wie möglich zum Eingang zurück.
Da ich den Weg, den ich gekommen war wieder zurückgehen wollte, verließ ich den Weg und ging hinter dem Gebäude in Richtung des Ortes, an dem dieser Spaziergang ursprünglich begonnen hatte. Kurz gegen Ende kam sogar wieder Gras, wo ich neben Ruinen anderer Gebäude, wie einer Wäscherei, gehen konnte.
Als ich das Feld verlassen hatte, ging ich an einem Schild vorbei, das mir sagte, dass das, was um mich herum war – die Garagen – von sowjetischen Soldaten bis 1977 benutzt wurden, nachdem sie das Lager befreit hatten, und ich erinnerte mich das mein Vater mir erzählt hatte, dass sie, als er während seiner Armeezeit hier war, diese Soldaten passieren mussten.

Leben neben dem Lager

Andere Gebäude, die von den Sowjets genutzt wurden, waren die sogenannten „Führerhäuser„, die auf kleinen Hügeln über das Lager hinwegsehen. Ursprünglich bewohnt von männlichen Offizieren – und ich glaube, ihrer Familien -, die für das Lager zuständig waren, ist jetzt in einem von ihnen eine Ausstellung über die Geschichte der Häuser. Das Innere des Hauses war weit entfernt von dem, was es ursprünglich war, da die Sowjets die Räume renovierten und umgestalteten, um, glaube ich, bis zu einem Dutzend Männer unterzubringen. Man konnte noch den ursprünglichen Stil sehen – das war offen gesagt recht hübsch mit vielen Holzornamenten, aber nicht überall.
Zwischen ihnen, der Kaserne und dem Feld befindet sich auch ein großes Haus mit einer wechselnden Ausstellung. Ich kann mich nicht mehr daran erinnern, worum es ging, als ich dort war, ich habe es irgendwie nur überflogen. Das Gebäude war früher ein Büro, glaube ich – und es wird auch heute noch teilweise als solches genutzt.

Etwas außerhalb des Geländes stehen die Unterkünfte für die Wärterinnen, eine von ihnen zeigt jetzt eine Ausstellung über deren Lebensweise, ihre Arbeit und ihre Verbrechen und die anderen sind Teil der Jugendherberge, aber dazu komme ich gleich.
All diese Gebäude sind Teil des Lagers, aber dennoch durch Distanz, Mauern und Tore von einander getrennt und zeigen, wie unterschiedlich das Leben für Häftlinge und Wärter gewesen sein muss.

Persönlicher Eindruck

Wenn ich nichts übersehen habe, dann beherbergt das ganze Areal sechs Dauer- und eine Wechselausstellung, aber in der Nacht entschied ich mich, nur die im Eingangsgebäude und danach die drei oben genannten Ausstellungen anzusehen.
Es war seltsam, über das Gelände zu gehen als fast niemandem sonst zu sehen war und im Gegensatz zu meiner Absicht, dies alleine zu erforschen, hätte ich wirklich gerne jemanden bei mir gehabt. Obwohl ich bezweifle, dass ich es selbst dann gewagt hätte, mir die Ausstellung anzusehen, die mir Gesichter für die Opfer gegeben hätte, glaube ich nicht, dass ich dieses Wissen ertragen könnte.

One of the Guard Houses

Eines der Wärterinnenhäuser


Während ich den Entwurf hierzu schrieb, saß ich auf meinem Bett in der Jugendherberge, in der ich übernachtete, in einem Haus, in dem früher das weibliche Personal des Lagers untergebracht war, einem Wärterinnnenhaus. Erst als ich aufwachte und merkte, dass es halb nach Mitternacht war – direkt in der Geisterstunde – und meine Unfähigkeit, wieder Schlaf zu finden, entschied ich mich, dies sofort zu tippen. Noch obwohl mein Laptop seine üblichen Geräusche machte, konnte ich die ungewöhnlichen von draußen hören: Wind oder Frösche/Kröten, die wie gebrochene Schreie klangen,  Hundegebell, das mich an gebrüllte Befehle erinnerte und die allgemeine Ruhe des Ortes. Es fühlte sich schon von dem Moment an seltsam an, als ich in mein Zimmer kam, aber in der Nacht wurde es schlimmer und obwohl es fast halb zwei war, war ich hellwach und nicht bereit, wieder einzuschlafen, bis ich gegen vier Uhr nachgab.
Ich bin froh, dass ich Sachsenhausen als zweites großes Ziel gestrichen habe. Wenn ich hier schon jemanden bei mir  haben wollte, dann bezweifle ich, dass es dort anders gewesen wäre.

Wichtiges Erbe

In vielen deutschen Schulen ist es Pflicht, mindestens ein Konzentrationslager zu besuchen – nicht meiner, zumindest nicht meine Klasse. Während ich dort war, gab es mindestens zwei Schulgruppen, obwohl eine von ihnen wahrscheinlich etwas zu jung war, um alles zu verstehen (sechste Klasse vielleicht?). Sie liefen herum und spielten Verstecken zwischen den Wärterinnenhäusern, lachten und waren im Allgemeinen ziemlich laut und das fühlte sich für einen Ort wie diesen einfach falsch an.
Schüler müssen ein Verständnis für Geschichte entwickeln und solche Denkmäler, die sie am Leben erhalten, sind ein wesentlicher Bestandteil davon. Mit all den Dingen, die in der Welt geschehen, insbesondere dem zunehmenden Einfluss von bräunlichen Parteien, wird es immer wichtiger, dass die Menschen etwas über unsere Vergangenheit lernen und vor allem daraus lernen, damit sich soetwas nicht wiederholen kann.
Etwas ganz anderes: Ein paar KZs waren kürzlich auch in den Nachrichten, als sie forderten, dass man Pokémon auf ihrem Gelände nicht fangen darf. Die Jagd auf Smogon oder Smogmog (auf Gas basierende Pokémon) oder der Nebulak-Linie (Geister Pokémon) dort ist ziemlich morbid und unangemessen, aber auch ein wenig ironisch und passend. Es könnte die Leute ermutigen, dorthin zu gehen, aber die meisten würden wahrscheinlich den Lernaspekt des Ausflugs ignorieren und sich einfach auf das Fangen konzentrieren.
Well, this concludes this part of the Journey.
Have you ever visited a KZ? What were your experiences?
Do you think it’s a good idea to keep such places as a memorial?
Nun, damit ist dieser Teil der Reise beendet.
Hast du schon einmal ein KZ besucht? Was waren deine Erfahrungen?
Hältst du es für eine gute Idee, solche Orte als Gedenkstätte zu behalten?
Was ihr von den kommenden Beiträgen erwarten können:

  • Tag 2: Fürstenberg -> Radis
  • Tag 3: Radis -> Halle (Saale)
  • (Den Rest der Reise: Halle, Koblenz, Kassel)

Bleibt dran. Ich hoffe, dass es nicht so lange dauert, bis ich die anderen Teile fertig habe.
PoiSonPaiNter