Sunday, December 30, 2012

A madman & the masters

Seems that Sunday is a popular day to visit Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial … all shops etc are closed.  On a cold, clear, crisp but very windy morning we caught the train out to Dachau station and then a bus to the Camp. 

No words can do justice to a visit here so you’ll get this story in pictures.  Suffice to say that between 1933 and 1945 thousands and thousands of men (and a small number of women) suffered unspeakable acts of cruelty and degradation at the behest of a total madman.  Political prisoners, undesireables (gypsys, gays etc) international prisoners and Jews were transported to Dachau.  Thousands did not survive, most died of starvation or disease which compounded the terrible forced-labour conditions but for some, the gas chambers inflicted the ultimate punishment and the bodies were fed through the crematorium by the thousands.

Dachau was liberated on April 29th 1945.

We got back about 3pm, and once again it was too late to visit the Residenz, plus Tony ready for a rest (we’d walked heaps in the morning and I could tell by how he was walking that his leg was gatting sore) so Lauren & I decided to check out the Alte Pinakothek (Old Art Gallery).  Sunday entry is 1euro (bargain).  What a stunning collection.. Rembrant, Rubens, Rafael, Tintoretto, Holbein, Botticelli and many more.  I stupidly didn’t take the camera.. foolishly thinking I wouldn’t be able to take photos so why carry it!  Dumb!

Dozens of works by Rubens .. what a prolific painter that man was and so many fat little cherubs!

How do you pick a favourite?  … though the huge multi-panel work by Holbein depicting the birth of Christ (and wickedly the circumcision too!) comes pretty close.  We’ve never seen so many paintings of Christ in one place … lucky we didn’t burst into flames again!  The gallery closed at 6pm and they threw us out .. could easily have stayed another hour or more.

Dinner just round the corner from our hotel and then we hopped a tram for a quick ride.  It went up towards the Residenz (we had to be able to navigate our way back) and did a spot of window shopping along Maximilian Strasse  … anyone fancy a 200,000euro Rolex?  or maybe a mauve fur hat .. a snip at 980euro, or sparkly mens Prada shoes for 600 euro?

Tomorrow is New Years Eve (or Sylvester as it is called in Germany) … so Happy New Year to you all, may 2013 bring love, luck and laughter and be a year closer to a world without hate and violence.

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