Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A few things German

It's a little after the fact...but here is a short blog about my trip to Munich last week.

I arrived on Monday and my friends picked me up at the airport. From there we went to pick up their little cousin S who is one of the most beautiful children I have ever seen. I think she is 6 years old and has the face of an angel. Once we picked her up from school we did what all good people do while looking after a small child, we went to a beer garden. There we grabbed our huge mugs, washed them in the fountain located by the rack of glasses (my friend promises they are already clean but people just like to wash them off, plus it makes the glass colder for the beer) and take them to be filled with the hoppy goodness that is German lager.

Once our beers have been poured we then saunter over to buy a huge pretzel and two fish on a stick. They still have the heads on them and though I did feel like the pink one was watching me pick away at his insides, they were actually very tasty. The saltyness of the fish and pretzels went perfect with the cold brew. Check it out...
Bordering the beer garden was a fence that had some deer in it. Here is one of the pretzel loving animals. I believed she posed especially nice for this photo and managed to let us all know what she thought of the damn fence. "But thanks for the pretzel." I'm sure she would add.
Once finished with our beers we headed to the city center after dropping S off at her mother's house. One of the first things I saw was this angular fortress-like building. It didn't fit the surroundings, it was strong looking and not inviting. The first word I thought of was "defensive".

Then I saw the doors as we approached.

It's a synagogue my friend told me. Actually it's the Ohel Jakob Synagogue
located where another Jewish place of worship stood but was destroyed in 1938 by the Nazis. It was really a site. So strong. It didn't shout it's message, but instead seemed to quietly and without doubt say, "This is a safe place for all who enter." It was simple, yet very moving. Some people had left prayers between the stones as if it was the Western Wall (the Wailing Wall) in Jerusalem where many Jews go to mourn the destruction of the first Holy Temple and offer prayers written on paper placed in the cracks of the stones. The symbols on the door represent the 10 commandments I read. Cyr got some much better photos, but of course...they are on his computer or in his camera and not within my reach at the moment.

So alas I leave you with the thought of the Ohel Jakob Synagog. A place that is new but represents something very old. A belief that countless numbers of people died for and that some are still persecuted for today. I hope this building will live up to it's appearance and be a safe and protecting place for those that remember, along with being a reminder of things that should never happen again. To anyone.

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