Tag Archives: Berlin

My own History Teacher

Being married to a retired Senior School history teacher has some great perks. We are currently enjoying as many travel experiences as we can. He researches the places we visit and tells me, in the unstuffy language of leaving the classroom behind, of the events, the people and the background to the places we visit.
Last year we visited Krakow. An inspiring and sad place. Beauty and the beast, mingled. We visited Auschwitz and Birkenau while we were there. My husband taught the history of the last century for 40 years and, on retirement, felt he had a need to find out more and pay our respects.
It was a truly unforgettable experience.
Words cannot convey the many emotions. It was encapsulated, for me by the Jewish youngsters, walking back from a service led by their teacher, waving their Star of David banners and singing sad songs. They were walking along the tracks that led from the gates to the ovens at Birkenau. It was an unforgettable moment. A defiance, mixed with a whole world of respect.
So many questions crowded into my mind, so many emotions, thoughts, so many images. It was an overwhelming experience.
I believe that all bigots and racists should be taken there.
My neighbour is a German woman, aged 90. Her first husband was in the SS, he was cruel to her and they divorced. She is now happily married to an English ex-RAF man. My neighbours……..I know that for many of the ordinary German people, the rumours were not believable, they say they didn’t know what was going on. Who am I to judge? What would we do in their place?
Tomorrow, my History teacher and I are off again, to Berlin for a few days. It’s going to be another learning adventure…..the best way to bring history to life. I will post more impressions when I return.