|Before the fall of Berlin the prisoners of the camp were forced to march out of the camp to other camps and many died or were killed because they couldn't keep up.|
|This is the road way to the front gates of the Camp. Here truck loads of prisoners would have travelled. Some prisoners would have had to walk this road into the camp|
|Along the wall were pictures of the prisoners and the life they had to live along with their stories|
|The first gate entering the compound. The prisoners would have entered a courtyard which housed the SS and camp guards. Signs said this area housed a small zoo and pond which had swans. The Camp Commander house was found in this area.|
|Next the prisoners would have had to walk thru the second gate. All Concentration Camps gates had these words on them and it means "Work will make you free"|
|Not all the building survived and the ones missing were marked out in this manner. The building were laid out in a semi circle to the front gate, with guard towers throughout the camp|
|One of the barracks that housed the inmates of the camp|
|The wash rooms|
|The day room and often the only place that had any heat. There were cabinets along the wall which I was surprised to learn were for special inmates who were allowed to keep some possessions.|
|The blanket that was issued to the inmates.|
|The various insignias that prisoners had to wear that represented their crimes.|
Pink was for homosexuals, yellow for Jews, red for Communists etc...
|Within the camp was a special prison block for those prisoners who required extra attention|
|One of the ways to punish people was to put them in rooms and seal off the windows so they had no light|
|This cell was for someone who had successfully earned favors from the guards|
|These posts outside the prison were for prisoners being punished. Their arms would be tied behind them and then they would be hung from the arms from the top iron nail. They would hang there for hours in all types of weather.|
|The Soviet Liberation Memorial -- The 18 red triangles represents the different countries who had prisoners at the camp|
|The hanging booths|
|Ovens--while this camp wasn't a huge extermination camp they did have a few ovens|
|What the ovens looked like|
|Prisoners were forced to burned other prisoners after they were killed|
|More medical building but after entering the first one we decided to skip the others.|
|While exploring one of the many museum rooms my daughter on her own grabbed a piece of paper to write her thoughts on what she had seen and posted it on the wall of comments.|
We spent over 5 hours touring this facility and we still didn't see everything. There were a few buildings we skipped, the medical facilities were experiments were done on the prisoners, the building that housed the photographs of the inmates, and the Soviet buildings used after the war ended until 1950. My oldest found this a very emotional experience, she had so many questions about what she had seen and what she heard. Having seen another Concentration camp I was much more able to handle the stories and images I had seen so I completely understood my daughter's emotional response to it. Before leaving the museum we stopped at the bookstore and I bought 3 books written by former children inmates who spent time in various camps before liberation. I have finished reading the first two and am working on reading the third. My daughter picked up one of the books and is beginning to read it.
Four Perfect Pebbles by Lila Perl
Lucky Child by Thomas Buerganthal
Run Boy Run by Uri Orlev
Later that evening while having dinner we were still discussing with the children what we had seen for the day and I partially recalled a poem "At First They Came" by Martin Niemoller, which I shared with the children.
First they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
Later we researched who wrote the poem (and to find out the correct wording) and found out there are several versions written. We also discovered this author spent time in the very concentration camp we had toured. We had a really great conversation with the children regarding this poem and the camp we visited.