September 23, 2013

Weimar Weekend Recap

Weimar--what a glorious city! Its legacy is one brazened with cultural, artistic, philosophical, literary, musical and legislative splendor. The city was home to some of Germany's most prominent figures; Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Johann Sebastian Bach, Friedrich Nietzsche, Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt among many others. It was the birthplace of German democracy, The Weimar Republic, which for the first time unified the previously fragmented German states and kingdoms under a single German banner.  

As part of their Christian Worldview class, the students visited the Nietzsche Archive, which in essence was a museum fabricated out of Nietzsche's house after his death. Neitzsche's philosophy of nihilism, for which he is the most prominent figurehead, was perhaps the largest portion of the philosophical foundation of the Nazi regime. Here, the students learned of the man as well as the cause behind the philosophy though later they would lay witness to its effect.

While still in Weimar we stepped into the Goethe House for an entire morning. As with Nietzche's, Goethe's house had been transformed into a museum shortly after his death. Largely considered Germany's most prominent and renowned writer, Goethe's best known works include The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust.

The most taxing portions of our weekend were those at the concentration camps in Flossenburg and Buchenwald. In Flossenburg we were exposed, many for the first time, to the reality of the crimes committed by the Nazi's as well as what happens when a nihilistic worldview is functionally implemented into a society. Amidst the sorrow there were however reminders of hope. In the lives and stories of Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Flossenburg and Pastor Paul Schneider in Buchenwald, both martyred for their faith in Christ and opposition to the Nazi party, this hope gleamed through the darkness that loomed over the camps.

Memorial site of Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, martyred at Flossenburg.

As we traveled back to Regensburg, to add some levity and to get in some good ol' fashioned fun, we stopped at a small mountain town called Pottenstein where we got to ride a mountain luge! It was basically a single person roller coaster at a small theme park as well as a whole mess of fun! For now though, it's back to the grind. The adventure continues. Stay tuned!

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