Almost exactly 14 years after I visited Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau, I visited Weimar-Buchenwald. A relative was there four years ago and coined this visit as »brutal erschütternd«. There are no other two words that can better express what I perceived during my visit. Incredible and brutally shocking.
What’s even more shocking is that contrast during the visit. I was there since I was visiting several pipe organ concerts, mainly Johann Sebastian Bach being played, one of the greatest composers ever. Furthermore, Weimar was the residence of Franz Liszt, Goethe and Schiller for several years. So, Weimar and the concentration camp Buchenwald are both nearby examples of what humans are capable of – extreme barbarism on the one, extreme cultural attainments on the other hand side.
So I wonder whether we can learn from Auschwitz-Birkenau and Weimar-Buchenwald for recent developments in 2022 and 2023? Yes, I’m pretty sure we can. Barbarism ends rather sooner than later. Culture luckily survives for a very long time.