February 03, 2011

Spring 2011 Christian Worldview Academic Tour to Weimar!

This past weekend students and professors headed to Weimar, the Athens of Germany. Weimar is famous for its vast cultural heritage. The city was the focal point of the German Enlightenment (1650-1800) with three of its leading figures Immanuel Kant, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Gottfried Leibniz residing here during their lifetime. In addition it was here that Goethe and fellow writer, Friedrich Schiller, developed the literary movement of Weimar Classicism. Friedrich Nietzsche lived in Weimar until his death in 1900 while further developing his views on existentialism and postmodernism. After WWI Germany's first democratic constitution was signed in Weimar, giving the new Repulic the name "Weimar Republic" which lasted from 1918-1933, when Hitler assumed power. Weimar is also popular among architectural students as the Bauhaus movement was founded here in 1919.   

Stopped for a quick look at Nietzsche's home in Weimar

Followed by a "free" night on the town

The next morning everyone got bundled up for the Weimar city tour followed by a guided visit to Goethe's home and study

Ready, set...


Outside of Herder's church, a contemporary of Martin Luther

Potato dumplings... yum!

In the town square with the bronze statuette of Goethe and Schiller

Prof. Orr treated the group to some Gelato goodness to cap off an eventful day.

That evening, in preparation for our visit to Buchenwald Concentration Camp memorial, we watched "Sophie Scholl - The Final Days". Sophie Scholl was a German university student, active within the White Rose resistance group in Nazi Germany. She, along with her brother Hans was convicted of high treason after having been caught distributing anti-war leaflets at the University of Munich. Sophie, Hans and four other group members were executed by guillotine in 1943.

The gloomy weather seemed fitting as we entered the gate of Buchenwald Concentration Camp memorial

The mocking inscription reads: "To each his own"

Crematorium - where bodies were burned

Inmates were questioned, tortured and executed in these bunker cells

Weimar, a city of world leaders (Weimar Republic), poets (Goethe, Schiller), philosophers (Nietzsche, Kant, Leibniz), composers (Liszt, Wagner, Strauss), religious leaders (Herder, Luther) and painters (Cranach, Van de Velde, Klee), side by side with Buchenwald Concentration Camp, located just outside of the city. How can such a mighty nation fall into such despairing depths? An eventful tour with thoughtful consideration of worldview, and its impact on society as a whole. 

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