April 16, 2012
There is so much to tell, so I have to continue to describe our amazing trip.
After Paris and all the excitement there, we went to Caen, France (Normandy Beach for the WWII beaches)
We took the tour to visit and hear about how it went
Things you can’t know by just the history books, but seeing it makes it come alive. There is so much patriotism when you see and hear what our country did. Thing you can never take away.
So many things went into planning this invasion and only by the grace of God did it happen. It was so hard to believe that so many fought, see this beach- this is when its hide tide. Image now there are razor wire, hedge hogs, enemy gun fire, thousands upon thousands of dead people surround you. But you have to climb up on the hill and stop the enemy fire. On low tide your able to see the razor wire and hedge hogs, but you still have to get to them. As the battle continued on the mines blew up boats and people the beach was stained with red. Thats what our men went through.
After Normandy we went to Belgium
Of course we had Belgium waffles – so good- they don’t name a food after a country when the food is bad. Just like belgium Chocolates 😉
We also had Beer, Muscles , Waffles and Chocolate- needless to say we got our fill- we didn’t stay too long just 20 some hours and went on our way 🙂 to Amsterdam
Brussles has the “piss boy”
According to Wiki
The 61 cm tall bronze statue on the corner of Rue de l’Etuve and Rue des Grands Carmes was made in 1619 by Brussels sculptor Hieronimus Duquesnoy. The figure has been repeatedly stolen; the current statue is a copy from 1965. The original is kept at the Maison du Roi/Broodhuis on the Grand Place.
There are several legends behind this statue, but the most famous is the one about Duke Godfrey III of Leuven. In 1142, the troops of this two-year-old lord were battling against the troops of the Berthouts, the lords of Grimbergen, in Ransbeke (now Neder-over-Heembeek). The troops put the infant lord in a basket and hung the basket in a tree to encourage them. From there, the boy urinated on the troops of the Berthouts, who eventually lost the battle.
Another legend states that in the 14th century, Brussels was under siege by a foreign power. The city had held its ground for some time, so the attackers conceived of a plan to place explosive charges at the city walls. A little boy named Julianske happened to be spying on them as they were preparing. He urinated on the burning fuse and thus saved the city. There was at the time (middle of the 15th century, perhaps as early as 1388) a similar statue made of stone. The statue was stolen several times. In 1619, it was replaced by the current bronze statue, created by Franco-Flemish Baroque sculptor Jerome Duquesnoy, father of the more famousFrançois Duquesnoy.
Another story (told often to tourists) tells of a wealthy merchant who, during a visit to the city with his family, had his beloved young son go missing. The merchant hastily formed a search party that scoured all corners of the city until the boy was found happily urinating in a small garden. The merchant, as a gift of gratitude to the locals who helped out during the search, had the fountain built.
Another legend was that a small boy went missing from his mother when shopping in the centre of the city. The woman, panic-stricken by the loss of her child, called upon everyone she came across, including the mayor of the city. A city-wide search began and when at last the child was found, he was urinating on the corner of a small street. The story was passed down over time and the statue erected as a tribute to the well-known fable.
Another legend tells of the young boy who was awoken by a fire and was able to put out the fire with his urine, in the end this helped stop the king’s castle from burning down.
Then we went to Amsterdam
So as many people know I am 100% Dutch and going to Amsterdam was interesting, kind of homelike. Erik got sick after some all you can eat sushi with friends- Erik was so gracious and let me go out the next day to see the tulip fields- but I was a week too early. But I met some great ladies and had a blast hanging out. Erik soon recovered but then I got sick 🙁 we luckily got a night train that night to Prague
We loved just touring and walking around, we saw the prime minister of Macedonia, its a beautiful city.
Oh, while we were in Prague I kept saying Czech Corona’s instead of crowns beer- jewelry same difference right?
Then we took a bus to Munich
While we were in Munich we went to Dachau- the city where the concentration camp is.
In March 22, 1933, a few weeks after Adolf Hitler had been appointed Reich Chancellor, a concentration camp for political prisoners was set up in Dachau. This camp served as a model for all later concentration camps and as a “school of violence” for the SS men under whose command it stood. In the twelve years of its existence over 200.000 persons from all over Europe were imprisoned here and in the numerous subsidary camps. 41.500 were murdered. On April 29 1945, American troops liberated the survivors.
Dachau served as a prototype and model for the other Nazi concentration camps that followed. Almost every community in Germany had members taken away to these camps. Newspapers continually reported of “the removal of the enemies of the Reich to concentration camps”, and as early as 1935 there were jingles warning: “Dear God, make me dumb, that I may not to Dachau come” (“Lieber Gott, mach mich dumm, damit ich nicht nach Dachau kumm”).
The camp’s basic organization: layout as well as building plans, were developed by Kommandant Theodor Eicke and were applied to all later camps. He had a separate secure camp near the command center, which consisted of living quarters, administration, and army camps. Eicke himself became the chief inspector for all concentration camps, responsible for molding the others according to his model.
The entrance gate to this concentration camp carries the words “Arbeit macht frei“, meaning “work liberates”.
The camp was in use from 1933 to 1960, the first twelve years as an internment center of the Third Reich. From 1933 to 1938 the prisoners were mainly German nationals detained for political reasons. Subsequently the camp was used for prisoners of all sorts from every nation occupied by the forces of the Third Reich. From 1945 through 1948 the camp was used as a prison for SS officers awaiting trial. After 1948 the German population expelled from Czechoslovakia were housed there and it was also a base of the United States. It was closed in 1960 and thereafter, at the insistence of ex-prisoners, various memorials began to be constructed there.
Estimates of the demographic statistics vary but they are in the same general range. History may never know how many people were interned there or died there, due to periods of disruption. One source gives a general estimate of over 200,000 prisoners from more than 30 countries for the Third Reich’s years, of whom two-thirds were political prisoners and nearly one-third were Jews. 25,613 prisoners are believed to have died in the camp and almost another 10,000 in its subcamps, primarily from disease, malnutrition and suicide. In early 1945, there was a typhus epidemic in the camp due to influx from other camps causing overcrowding, followed by an evacuation, in which large numbers of the weaker prisoners died. Toward the end of the war death marches to and from the camp caused the deaths of large but unknown numbers of prisoners. Even after liberation, prisoners weakened beyond recovery continued to die.
Over its twelve years as a concentration camp, the Dachau administration recorded the intake of 206,206 prisoners and 31,951 deaths. Crematoria were constructed to dispose of the deceased. There is no evidence of mass murder within the camp. Though it is claimed that in 1942 more than 3166 prisoners in weakened condition were transported to Hartheim Castle near Linz and there they were executed by poison gas by reason of their unfitness, the same research warns that even according to Holocaust archivists in Jerusalem, survivor testimony is notoriously unreliable.
Together with the much larger Auschwitz, Dachau has come to symbolize the Nazi concentration camps to many people. Konzentrationslager (KZ) Dachau lives in public memory as having been the second camp to be liberated by British or American forces. Accordingly, it was one of the first places where these camps were exposed to the rest of the world through firsthand journalist accounts and through newsreels.
It was a sober moment for both Erik and I – lots of thoughts and just utter wow when it came to how people survived. Some people stayed in the camp all 12 years and on the door- the gate it said “work will set you free”
Crazy how this camp was toured by our political leaders and were given a big thumbs up for their thought to reprogram their citizens.
Also there were many catholic priests who tried to stand up to the Nazi party and Catholic Church who supported the Nazi
It reminded me that people should fight what is wrong and not just be a follower.
Erik met some great people on the tour and we went out for some beer and some less somber moments- so we went to BMW land and sat in cars that were 80,000 euro and doubtfully would ever buy 🙂 but it was fun. We also toured the Olympic site in Munich and laughed to our selves that after you build all this stuff what do you use it for and we thought it would make a great gym- low and behold it was one 🙂