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17 August 2008

Visited Auschwitz in Poland

This is the sequel of already posted article "Ich bin ein Berliner." My trip in Europe last month. After I enjoyed my 2 day stay in Berlin, I flew to Krakow, the old capital of Poland. From the city, I went to one of the famous World Heritage sites. It took 1 and a half hour to get to Auschwitz Museum by car. It was clear and sunny day. The place looked strangely beautiful although what happend there was so scary. At first I went to the second part of the former concentration camp, Birkenau.

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Over 1 million people were said to be murdered there. The below photo is the bombed gas chamber. Nazis bombed the chamber when they left that place to destroy the evidence. It looked like Roman ruin to me.

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The below is where the prisoners slept and their toilet.

 

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Also the below is the site of forced labour in the ditch.

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The below is the freight train car used for deportation of the prisoners. No seats in it. They had to stand up inside for days without food.

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Then I went to the Auschwitz. That is me in front of the famous gate "ARBEIT MACHT FREI. (Labor makes you free.)" But the prisoners never became free. 90% of them died inside the camp.

 

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You can also see the video clip of my vist of the museum.  
What lessons do we get from Auschwitz?
I think the most important thing is to learn what was the cause of such genocide. What was the beginning?
I recommend you to watch the DVD titled "Hitler, The Rise of Evil." Anti-semetism was not the only reason. What you can learn might help prevent similar event from occurring in the future.
GOD BLESS HUMANKIND!
  

31 July 2008

Ich bin ein Berliner!

Between 9 and 12 of July, I was staying in Berlin, Deutschland (Germany).

It was a beautiful and interesting city. The purpose of visiting there was to learn history of holocaust and the Cold War era.

The first place I visited was Holocaust Memorial. It is Wave of Stones.

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The memorial for 6 million Jewish victims. The place was near Brandenburger Gate and the Parliament Building.

On one downtown street, I found small memorial plates. It is called "Stolperstein. (Hitting stones)" One of 1600-1700 existed on Berlin streets to mourn holocaust victims.

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I also visited some history museums. One of the most impressive ones was German History Museum. I saw below postar for Anti-Jew proganda, which depicts Jews as greedy and communist.

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The same museum exhibited part of former Berlin Wall.  

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I went to Checkpoint Charlie, the former checkpoint between West and East Berlin. That now became tourist spot.

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The below photo is memorial for Border Crosser who failed and then being killed.

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Berlin experienced very dramatic history. I really felt that by being there.  

I've made video clip of my stay in Berlin. See this you tube clip.

On 12 of July I left Berlin for Krakow to see one of the famous World Heritage designated by UNESCO.

I will talk about that later.  

Danke schonn!

06 December 2007

Remembering Pearl Harbor and Hawaii trips!

December 7 is Pearl Habor memorial day for you. For us, it is December 8 because of the time zone difference.

Pearl Habor is famous for the navy base which had been attacked by Japanese imperial army in 1941. More than 2000 GIs were killed.

I visited there when I was in college. I flew to Hawaii from San Francisco. I was there on vacation.

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At that time, I was kind of ignorant about history. I did not feel guilty or express condolence to the dead soldiers. Now I do.

People in Japan claim we've had far more casualties than Pearl Harbor by the U.S. air raids afterwards. But historical fact is Japan bombed Chinese cities and killed so many Chinese civilians. That caused the tension between the U.S. and Japan. It was even before Pearl Harbor. 

Some Americans consider Pearl Harbor and 911 the similar things. They are NOT.

In Pearl Harbor, the army targeted only naval base, not civilians. In 911, the target was mostly civilians. The terrorists knew the twin buildings contain private companies. Japan declared the war against the U.S. although it was delayed mistakably.

 

I have been to Hawaii, three times during my college days. Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Big Island. I enjoyed staying there.

I want to come back again.

21:25 Posted in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: College days, Hawaii

10 November 2007

Colder weather reminds me of the trip to Colorado

It is getting cold lately. A winter is coming close. I do not like winter except that I can go out and ski.

I have good memories of skiing.  

During my college days in the U.S., I visited Colorado to ski 3 times. The same ski resort, Steamboat.

It was college's students ski tour. In the first time we travelled by Amtrack. I remeber it was more than a half day trip from Auckland. Crazily long and boring. 2nd time and 3rd time we went there by plane. Less than 4 hours.  

On 1st time trip, since I had never skied before so I took 1 day ski lesson and that enabled me to ski very well afterwards. Steamboat was a huge ski resort. Even I stayed there for 5 days, I couldn't ski on all of the courses there.

The photo was taken there.

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Other place I skied than Steamboat was Zermatt in Switzerland. I skied there in August seeing the view of Matterhorn.

But not as good as Steamboat, because the ski zones were limited because it was summer.  

Well, now I get older, I don't think I want to go out and ski somewhere. There are many good ski resorts in Japan. But not as good as Steamboat or Zermatt. I don't want to get in crowded ski bus or trains to get to a crowded ski resort.

As it gets cold, I would stay longer at home watching DVDs. I rented an old Charlie Angels' drama episode that Angels went to Veil in Colorado to bodyguard a foreign important person. Kate Jackson (or lookalike) skied chasing a criminal very well.

That brought me back Steamboat memories, too.

Skiing is what you have to do NOW. As the whole earth gets warmer, more and more ski slopes are being closed. We wouldn't be enjoying skiing in near future. Maybe we should ski on artificial snow ground.

I was lucky I could enjoy skiing on real snow. It was high quality powder snow. I remember I could not make a snowball out of it.