Family and World History Loop

 

Johan and I traveled to the Dutch/German border near Aachen and spent a few days exploring WWII history and contemplating family history. I did a lot of writing on this trip. Musings. Questions. Concerns. Joyful things. All of this was captured in my journal.

One thing that keeps showing up the longer I am in Europe on this trip is that history keeps repeating itself. We are not doing enough to stop this.

Distraction

War is a distraction. Conflict is a distraction. These things keep us from the more important things in this life and reality. Yet, we continue to create them on a daily basis.

Every. Single. One. Of. Us.

I'm guilty of this. Sometimes when things are going really well there is a part of me waiting for the other shoe to drop. I might unconsciously find one thing to nag my husband about and create a conflict - small or large. Over the last year I try to be more aware of this and clear whatever is causing it. Yet there are times when I fail.

What would change in our lives,...

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What Can We Learn from Vogelsang?

 

In October, Johan and I visited Vogelsang, a former Nazi Training Facility and Tourist hot spot/wedding venue during the 1930s and early 1940s. Standing in this place now, looking out over the beautiful fall Eifel National Park, and knowing the history of this place, was hard to wrap my head around.

The National Socialist Documentation Center, which we visited and saw the exhibit, "The Master Race", offers these questions on their website:

  • What was the attraction of a place like Vogelsang during the National Socialist period?
  • What did the party leadership promise young men coming here regarding their future?
  • What motivated their hopes and their desire for social advancement?
    Were they, through drill and formation, predestined to participate in crimes, or could they have also said no?
  • Did they see themselves as members of a supposed master race and act upon this?

After we viewed the exhibit and walked most of the complex, I had no answers to those questions. I only had more...

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Sacred Spaces in Europe

 

In Germany the summer of 2018, I spent a day traveling with Doug Mitchell, who showed Johan and I the West Wall, Dragon's Teeth, bunkers, and memorials. We absorbed a lot of history that day.

We visited many WWII sites, some in which I could still feel the trauma, hear the whispers, feel the pain. And others, like the one in this video, where there was a sense of peace.

That peace was a bit in conflict with my head which knew a battle had raged in those woods and blood soaked the land. Sometimes standing in these sacred spaces is difficult for us to reconcile energy and mind.

Where have you stood in a military family member's footsteps that caused this reaction in you? How did you reconcile the energy and knowledge?

© 2018 Jennifer Holik

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