While visiting a friend in Munich last July I finally decided to get over my overwhelming angst and visit Dachau. It was an absolutely beautiful day, which really contrasted the darkness of the place we were going. I have avoided even looking at the raw photos, let alone editing through them… until now. I really don’t have any words that haven’t been said before.
When we got back to the hotel after a full day’s adventure, I popped in my headphones and put on the Twilight Zone. The Dachau episode “Deaths-Head Revisited” came on. It was a bit freaky. And as usual, Rod Serling says it better than I can…
“Mr. Schmidt, recently arrived in a small Bavarian village, which lies eight miles northwest of Munich, a picturesque, delightful little spot one time known for its scenery but more recently related to other events having to do with some of the less positive pursuits of man: human slaughter, torture, misery, and anguish. Mr. Schmidt, as we will soon perceive, has a vested interest in the ruins of a concentration camp – for once, some seventeen years ago, his name was Gunther Lutze. He held the rank of a captain in the S.S. He was a black-uniformed strutting animal, whose function in life was to give pain, and like his colleagues of the time, he shared the one affliction most common amongst that breed known as Nazis: he walked the Earth without a heart. And now former S.S. Captain Lutze will revisit his old haunts, satisfied perhaps that all that is awaiting him in the ruins on the hill is an element of nostalgia. What he does not know, of course, is that a place like Dachau cannot exist only in Bavaria. By its nature, by its *very* nature, it must be one of the populated areas of The Twilight Zone.”
“There is an answer to the doctor’s question. All the Dachaus must remain standing. The Dachaus, the Belsens, the Buckenwalds, the Auschwitzes – all of them. They must remain standing because they are a monument to a moment in time when some men decided to turn the Earth into a graveyard. Into it they shoveled all of their reason, their logic, their knowledge, but worse of all, their conscience. And the moment we forget this, the moment we cease to be haunted by its remembrance, then we become the gravediggers. Something to dwell on and to remember, not only in The Twilight Zone but wherever men walk God’s Earth.”