Monday, March 8, 2010
More Questions Then Answers
The trains seem to be the best place to write blogs as they are quite comfortable and usually have electrical outlets for the computer. So here we sit writing on another high speed train going from Munich to Berlin.
We have really enjoyed Munich and again regret that we have to leave a place before we are finished enjoying it. Munich, the city with a lot of capitals and yet not "the" capital. Munich is the capital of Bavaria, the heart of the German empire established in 1871, the heart of the the kingship, home of the Ludwig's mad or not. Munich is also the beer capital of Germany with some monks starting it all sometime around the 6th century. They are very proud of this and beer is very important to them. A traditional breakfast includes beer and most people only have a half liter of beer for lunch. I mean that's all they have, no food at all, yes men and women. So you can see how important beer is! It the home of 'the' Oktoberfest when no one can imagine how much beer is consumed and on one occasion a brewery actually went dry!
Munich has other capitals to tell of. It is the Catholic capital of Germany. The home of the current Pope, who is a lover of Augustiner beer. Any casual observation will tell you that Munich is the Catholic capital as churches can be seen from any vantage point and it was one of the rare places where I did not need to consult a map to get around. Church landmarks are everywhere and any confusion is resolved by looking for the nearest steeple. Munich is also very new despite looking old. Munich was nearly destroyed during the second world war, 87% of it's buildings were knocked down. They knew that this would happen and so a campaign was mounted to photograph the buildings, inside and out, so they could be restored to original after the destruction ended. This brings the question, "Why would this happen?" It's because Munich is also the capital of Nazism and the second home to the most infamous Austrian of all time, Adolf Hitler.
It was from Munich that Hitler started his movement to rule Germany. It was from Munich, the third story of the New Town hall, that Hitler ordered the opening of Dachau, the first and longest running concentration camp in Germany. It was from this same place, in 1938 he commenced "crystal nacht" (night of broken glass). When the Jewish population of Munich went from 12,000 to 1,000 and every Jewish business and Synagogue was burned to the ground. This same place, in 1941 launched Hitler's "Final Solution" which led to the death of 6 million Jews. All this has left me with many questions about Munich. How can it boast of being the capital of many good things and be the the capital of evil at the same time? I know that Munich is dealing openly with her past, which is why Dachau still stands and the third story of the old town hall is pointed out to tourists, but some questions still remain. I don't think this is a question just for Munich, it's one that needs to be asked by all of us because evil still exists amongst the good. It makes me want to be quick to speak out against injustice, unrighteousness and hate when I encounter it. My hope is that I do.