Dachau. More after the photos.
This wasn’t my first concentration camp. I’ve been to Auschwitz. It was the first time H had been to one. And to see this camp in his hometown, it really hit him. And it hit me too. I though I was prepared, especially after Auschwitz. But Dachau was very different than Auschwitz. Dachau was the only camp to be in operation for the entirety of the Nazi reign. It was put into use in 1933 and shut down in 1945. Attached to Dachau was an SS training center. There were also fields and gardens. Dachau was fairly self-sustaining. It wasn’t designed as a death camp. The people who came to Dachau were mostly Germans. Some were sent to Dachau for their political leanings. Some for the religious views. Some for the sexual orientation. Most of the men (there were a handful of women, but not many) who walked through the gates were political prisoners, especially in the beginning. Men from other political parties. Men who spoke out against the Nazi regime. As horrible as the Nazis were, I have to give them credit for being organized and thorough. They thought of everything. They always had a plan. In order to keep their regime from being criticized, they imprisoned those who spoke out. It’s hard to stand up to the regime when you know what your fate is. But still, Dachau was always full. Men and women did stand up to the Nazis (more about this when we get to Berlin). And they went to concentration camps. Most of the prisoners who died at Dachau died of diseases, not malnourishment, because the men at Dachau had to do actual labor but weren’t always provided with warm clothes or doctors. They were allowed to receive packages from home. It was a way for the men to get food and clothes without those items being provided by the Nazis. A cost cutting measure. Many of the men (and later women) at Dachau were sent out into the greater Munich area to work in factories and at projects for the Third Reich. A gas chamber and crematoria were present at Dachau, however, records and prisoner accounts tell us that they were never used for mass killings. That was, of course, the plan. But, thankfully, it never reached fruition. After the war, many prisoners remained at Dachau, with better conditions, as they awaited a way to get home (if there was still a home) or awaiting a visa to another country. After that, the US Army used it as an internment camp. The Dachau trials were held there. Much of the camp was destroyed, but the memorial effort was started in 1960 to remember those who died at Dachau. Never forget.
The main building at Dachau houses one of the best Holocaust & Third Reich museums I’ve been to. Admission to Dachau is free and I highly recommend getting the audio guide (Euro 3,50). There are also tours offered daily, in English, but I prefer to move at my own pace. You can take the S-bahn to Dachau station, then take the bus a few stops to Dachau. Just follow the signs for KZ Gedenstatte Dachau. The day we went to Dachau was the warmest day of our trip. It snowed. It was 1C. Just above freezing. Within 10 minutes, my toes were cold. We were there for 4 hours. Even in the museum, where there were heaters, it wasn’t really warm. I could take off my hat & gloves, but not my coat. All I could think about was If I’m this cold, imagine how those poor men in wooden shoes and thin uniforms felt. It really brought it home for me.
Concentration camps were not just for Jews.
Catch up on all our adventures in Germany:
Berlin: Part One, Part Two, & Part Three
Bonn & Cologne
It’s been two months since we got back from our trip to Germany, and I’m finally getting around to sharing these photos. Never mind the fact that I’ve never shared all the gorgeous photos from Curacao. I’m bad at blogging our travel photos! After this trip, I made H promise that we wouldn’t go back to Germany in January again. The last three times we’ve been in Germany, we’ve gone in winter (December 2008, January 2011, and January-February 2013). Not only is it cold, but this time it was particularly windy and I was not happy. On this trip, we spent three weeks in Germany and visited (more or less): Munich, Östrich-Winkel & Mittelheim, Mainz, Geisenheim, Bonn, Köln (Cologne), Berlin, & Hamburg. Whew.
Since we mainly visit Munich to visit family, we don’t do a lot of touristy things. And, with the weather barely getting above freezing (one day the high was -6 Celsius & when we went out to dinner it was -14 C!), H and I were content to stay inside and eat lots of cake and watch the snow fall. It was very relaxing. We did go see the Munich Residenz + Treasury, a Symphony performance, Dachau concentration camp, and, of course, we spent some time wandering around Munich & the neighborhood near his grandparents’ house. When it comes to Munich, I have a love-hate relationship with the city. The people of Munich are fantastic! They are polite, charming, helpful people. Their food is amazing and I’m in love with learning Bayerish (Bavarian). However, Munich as a city doesn’t inspire me that much. I don’t find it as attractive as some of the other cities we’ve visited in Germany. Overall, though, I enjoy Munich. The people and the food make it worth it.
So, this is a view of Munich in winter. Minus Dachau, that deserves a post all of it’s own. A couple notes: I didn’t take the cat with me, but you can see she was more than happy to “help” me pack by sitting in the suitcase. And yes, H’s grandparents are blurry, but it was hard enough to get them in front of the camera.
Catch up on all our adventures in Germany:
Berlin: Part One, Part Two, & Part Three
Bonn & Cologne
I have a lot of stories to share with you. Stories about Germany. About our adventures there. Personal and historical. Stories of adventures and lazy days. Stories to make you laugh, stories to make you cry. There are many stories waiting to be told. But they’ll have to wait just a little bit longer. I’m still catching up. So for now, I leave you with two frames: Dachau Concentration Camp & On the High-Speed Train.
Today I’m officially on vacation for a month. Which means I’m purposely not blogging instead of just forgetting. I’ll be back with beautiful photos in February. In the meantime, I’m still taking on wedding clients, and my 2013 season is filling up! I’ll be slower than normal to respond to emails, but expect me to take no longer than 4 days.
Here are some frames from the last time I went unplugged. I spent 4 beautiful days in Montana, soaking up the sun and fresh mountain air. I’m sure this lake is under a couple feet of snow by now. That last image has been on here a time or two before. I just can’t get over it. Now, I’m off to eat chocolate and walk cobblestone streets. To drink wine near the Rhine and beer in Munich. To explore churches and art museums. To watch the trains.
PS- I might be sending some postcards. So if you want one, let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org
Emily Wenzel Photography is proud to offer a limited number of fine art travel images for you to purchase! See below for more details.
The Great Wall (Square) – Beijing, China
Curacao – Westpunt, Curacao
Montana Sky – Lindbergh Lake, Montana
Palm Branches – Curacao
The Great Wall – Beijing, China
Diablo Lake – Washington
Lake Brienz – Interlaken, Switzerland
Along the Coast – Washington/Canada
Curacao Sunset (Square) – Westpunt, Curacao
I’ve spent the past month combing through thousands, possibly tens of thousands of images I’ve taken over the past few years. Then carefully, narrowing it down from a hundred, to twenty to the nine I have here. This has been a labor of love. A labor which is not yet done. This is just a preview of what is to come. These beauties will be for sale in mid-February, when we return from our trip. Also, in order to keep these special, I’ll only be selling a select number of each print. I’m thinking 50 or 100 images.
I’m still working on finding a local frame shop to work with. And while I can get these images printed through the same printer I use for my wedding photographs, I’d like to find a local person for that as well. Once I have settled on a frame shop and printer, I will post definitive prices and sizes for the prints. The square images will most likely be available as 12×12 (matted and framed) and 16×16 (framed or unframed). The rectangular images will most like be available as 12×18 (matted and framed) and 16×20 (framed or unframed). If there is another size you’d like, or if you’re interested in getting the image before we leave, email me.
Thoughts on sizes? Which image is your favorite? I already have a test print of the palm branches and it is stunning. But I love them all. I just have to convince H to let me paper the walls of our apartment with my photographs 🙂
I’m taking a vacation. A mostly real vacation (more on that later). Not a vacation where I go to someone’s wedding (which is still really awesome) or a vacation where I’m really at a conference (although WDS rocked my socks off), but an honest to goodness vacation. So, from January 15, 2013 to February 15, 2013, I’m out of the office. I’m going to be in Germany with H, visiting family (eating way too much of Oma’s cooking) and traveling for part of it, but I’m also going to work on some personal projects and step back. Getting ready for the wedding season.
Here’s the lowdown:
–I will not be blogging or on Facebook or Twitter (most likely, though I make no promises). I will not be doing print orders. You can submit a print order, but I won’t be able to get it in until after February 15th.
–I will be answering my email, it’s just going to take me a while. I will still be booking clients for weddings in 2013 (or beyond!).
–I am not planning to do anything but personal shoots while I’m gone (although, for the right person/couple…). So, if you’re in Berlin, Frankfurt, or Munich (more or less) in that time frame, hit me up. Or if you have advice on where to go, what to see and eat, and how to do it all in not enough time, I’d be FOREVER grateful.
Which is why it’s a mostly real vacation. I’m still answering your emails. I’m still booking your weddings. But I am not going to be on social media, and I’m not taking my laptop. Can I just say, this is the first time I’ve gone on vacation without my laptop in…years. I’m so excited.
The Reichstag, Berlin (2008)
Also, I am really thankful for friends who offer to take care of my diva kitty and stay in my home while we travel. I am such a lucky lady.