Visiting Sachsenhausen was emotionally life changing in a way I never envisaged. The stillness and quiet was more haunting than I had anticipated, and I was unprepared for my inner emotion that would surface during my visit to the desolate uninhabited graveyard of hidden memories and despair.
“Silence is a true friend who never betrays,” Confucius
I was much younger; it was 1988, a Mother of a growing young family and I was both fascinated and excited about taking a trip as an independent woman, rather than as a mother.
Sachsenhausen sits in a beautiful part of Germany, straddling a small town, and not far from the beautiful elegance of the exquisite Baroque Castle, offering such an immense and stark contrast making it even more difficult to comprehend such beauty and opulence amidst the unimaginable despair and lack of humanity that paved its way into our history.
The vast openness and innate quietness held within it a certain respect that was difficult to ignore, and as I encountered the many aspects of Sachsenhausen I found it personally moving and sorrowful. The photographs and the film archives created a vision that engulfed my senses and as I moved slowly and quietly around the grounds I began to imagine and envisage the many faces that once walked the pathways there, none more so than when I encountered the steps down to the ovens. I was overcome with emotion, and overwhelmed with a sorrow I had never experienced before. As I sat outside trying to make sense and gather my thoughts and breathe through my emotion, the strange thing was that as well as the overwhelming sense of despair throughout the camp, there was an essence of love present too.
It is a truly remarkable place; a truly humbling experience. A place filled with such immense significance, and a place to really feel a true sense of gratitude, somewhere to get a real handle on what gratitude actually means and on its immense importance throughout our lives.
Ff you ever get the opportunity to go to Sachensenhausen, please take it, and go with an open mind and a heart that is open and filled with love.
Sending you love ‘ Till Next Time