Tuesday, March 26, 2019
Today we took a trip to the Dachau Concentration Camp outside the city of Munich in Germany.
I have been on tour many times in Germany over the past decade, but I have never had much time to really do anything. With two days off in the same hotel and a little over an hour drive, the band decided we wanted to go and experience this history together. I was a little nervous the night before, but I knew in my heart I wanted to go and see the camp and know first hand the truth and the horror.
I almost felt like it was my duty to go and to bear witness out of respect for those who were murdered.
It was cold and the sun was not shining. We took the drive and we did not talk much.
We listened to some peaceful instrumental music and everyone kind of laid low. It felt heavy in the van.
When we arrived there were school children everywhere, high school age, on field trips. I heard people speaking French, German, English.....it was kind of a good feeling to see so many young people there
being educated on this terrible history.
We walked the trail to the SS entrance and through the gate that read "Arbeit macht frei" - work sets you free. The Dachau camp was the first concentration camp in Germany, designed by Heinrich Himmler. It was a former munitions factory that was used to hold political prisoners, Jews, Gypsys, Priests and most were used to work. In fact they were worked to death.
We walked the prison cell block, the barracks, the furnace and gas chambers.
I read as much of the museum that I could handle and watched a film on the camp.
We spent over 3 hours there today and it was life changing to say the least.
No one laughed or told jokes, no one whistled or sang songs. It was sad and cold and hard to take. At the very end of the barracks there were Christian and Jewish memorials that were beautiful. It gave me some peace and time to pray and reflect.
As we walked back through the field of once barracks towards the entrance,
I began to think how fantastic it is that this memorial exists and that they have over 1 million
visitors a year. The atrocities that these bastards committed would not be hidden or changed in history books. It was here for all to see, for all to condemn and to not be forgotten.
The only happiness I felt today at that camp was the fact that this horrific human suffering was now known to the world and the perpetrators were held accountable in history.
I was horrified, disgusted and in tears many times today.
I am so glad I went to honor the dead and to be educated, firsthand, of the
pain and suffering these people endured.
So the deaths and abuse of so many will not be in vein, we must never allow this to happen again.
All I can say is, I am so thankful for my life today and for the freedom that myself and my family enjoy.
Peace, Love, Zito