Tudor houses, Wartburg Castle, concentration camp

Trip Start Apr 27, 2005
Trip End Sep 06, 2005

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Flag of Germany  ,
Thursday, June 30, 2005

* Wernigerode ... another favourite of ours ... this city is on UNESCO`s world heritage list and for an excellent reason ... it looks as though nothing has changed for quite a few hundred years! We took an old steam train up to Mt Brocken (it was going to take 10 hours to walk there and back and it was raining so it was a fun, easier and expensive alternative). Not much to see at the top of the mountain unfortunately but we really enjoyed the ride and of course it was the sunniest day ever the next day ... bugger! Also climbed an almost vertical hill (at least it felt like it) to see a fabulous Gothic Castle ... luckily it was worth the climb!!!

* Eisenach ... after yet another almost vertical climb (and a lot longer one) we reached Wartburg Castle ... the place where Martin Luther went into hiding because he was in trouble with the Pope for translating the New Testament into German ... hence making it available to your everyday person and meaning that priests couldn`t just tell you anything they wanted to anymore ... ie. donate lots of money to the church today because that`s what the bible says you should do!

* Weimar ... this town (as far as the tourist office leads you to believe) is most famous for its playwrights, theatres and classicists. But we went there to find out about the horrors that went on only 8kms away in Buchenwald Concentration Camp. It's amazing that 60 years on from WWII that the tourist office still doesn't really acknowledge this horrible place (and I suppose who really can blame them) but the problem 60 years ago is that it appeared as though no one in the town then knew what was going on (or rather that they chose to ignore the goings on) in the camp. It was only after the camp was liberated and the US army forced 1000 of them to march through the camp that they discovered the horrors (ie. piles of dead skeletal bodies) their fellow country men forced on the Jews, gypsies, homosexuals etc.

CAUTION: I've included a rather graphic picture that you may or may not want to see.
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