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Only Two Weeks Left

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Jun. 25th, 2012 | 04:31 pm

I just started my fifth week, which means it's this week and the next and then DONE. Part of me is happy, because that means that I can see my family and don't have to do homework, but it's also kind of sad because Germany is pretty great. Class has its ups and downs, but I do think my language skills have improved, even if only marginally, and there's so much to see here. And such delicious food to eat.

Last week was a little heavier than usual. On Wednesday we went to the Wannsee Conference House, where the Nazis made the decision to commit genocide. Wannsee is gorgeous, and the house was too, and it made everything a little more horrifying, to think of such a terrible thing happening at such a lovely place. Something I thought was interesting was how the information consistently used the word 'murdered' to describe the victims of the Holocaust. So often I see 'killed' or 'died', and it was good to see the more aggressive 'murdered' used.

I was sick on Friday. All gross and head-coldy and I actually went home early so I could sleep. I was still a little sick the rest of the weekend but not AS sick, which is what really matters.

But this weekend we went to Weimar! Which is such a lovely place, all old and historical and with a gorgeous park. I had the Thuringer bratwurst, because that's the specialty, and it was pretty delicious. And I also had the second most delicious fries I've ever eaten (second only to the Belgian fries I had in New Zealand), for 2 euros, in a giant takeaway box, from a Turkish doner restaurant. And hazelnut ice cream (I really like a lot of the food I can get in Germany, ok?).

We took a tour of the city, which, as I said, was lovely. We also saw Goethe's house, and toured that, and it was pretty interesting. The hostel was blah, but I fell asleep pretty early, so whatever.

On Sunday we visited Buchenwald. It was...heavy. It's not really something I think I can describe, seeing the empty spaces and empty buildings, and the wreaths and the stones on the memorials and the autopsy table. We had a fantastic guide, and he told us about how after the Americans liberated Buchenwald, they made 1000 Weimar residents walk through the camp to see what it was they had ignored, and how he got to talk to one of the women who had been chosen. She was head of the women's division of the Nazi party in Weimar, and she insisted the entire thing was a publicity stunt by the Americans, and that it their fault that there were people dead and dying in the camps. It's a terrible story, but I think it's important, too, to see how some people refuse to accept the truth even when it's right in front of them. There's no helping those people.

Anyway, hoping to make the most of my two remaining weeks.

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