Friday, October 16th, 2009

Remember, remember–Do not forget

It’s been 2 days since we were at the former concentration camp outside the town of Dachau. I haven’t written about it yet, because–even though it is not my first time there–is such a whole experience that it is hard to pick out one thought, one fact, one reality to recount.

Dachau Camp now is a peaceful place, even when there are many visitors. I felt almost as if I were alone with the memories and grief of the place. Here is the overwhelming thing that remains: Through the creation of the memorial, those who survived plead, “Remember those who died. Do not forget that such a thing happened. Do not let it happen again.”

To hear one survivor’s story reminds me of millions of others whose stories were the same and yet not the same. Each one who died was a person, whose story was written by God. That is what sits heavy on my heart as I remember–so many people, so many created by God in his image.

Each had a mother, a father, friends, neighbors, coworkers, maybe a wife or husband, maybe children. Each has lost the ones he loved. The loved ones have lost him.

Each had a certain laugh, particular gifts, favorite songs. All of us have lost those.

I will remember what I can remember. I am thankful that God forgets nothing. He knows every single one of those who died.

Perhaps some photos of our visit to Dachau will help you remember.

To the dead, honor.

To the living, admonition.

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2 Responses to “Remember, remember–Do not forget”

  1. notes on the journey

    hey. my name is Grace. thank you for your thoughts. They meant so much. I am a junior in high school living over seas. I studied the Holocaust last year, and i cannot shake it out of my memories. There are things that i cannot even smell anymore because i was around them during the study I did. So, the Holocaust is a very hard topic for me. Thank you for sharing your heart.
    In Him,
    Grace.

  2. Hello Mrs. Piper,

    I have enjoyed reading your blogs during this season of sabbatical for you and Dr. Piper. Thank you for being so candid with your thoughts and heart. I have been encouraged by the experiences you have shared.

    I was reading other blog entries when I stumbled across your blogs about Dachau. I went to high school in Germany in the late ’90s, and one of the field trips our school took was a special trip for 11th graders to Dachau. I remember I began weeping hours before we went, and couldn’t stop for hours after we left. It was an incredibly moving and heartwrenching experience. The Lord was so good. While we were there, our history teacher stopped to admire the memorial outside the crematorium. As we stood around it, an ancient German gentleman approached and told his story. He was a German Jew and had been in Dachau from the time he was 12 to 16. His extended family of over 40 brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins all died there. He alone survived, and he had the monument placed there in honor of their memory. He spoke in German and our teacher translated. Every day he came there to that place, and told his story to anyone who was willing to listen, pleading, “You must not forget. Please, never let this happen again. If you do, you just might be the one standing at a memorial like this. Please, don’t ever forget.” We were a bunch of funky punky teenagers on a good day, but that day we wept openly. I am sure that dear old man has long since passed on. But I have never forgotten that moment. I know the Lord is sovereign, and He has declared there will be unprecedented human suffering before Time is through. But I pray that as long as we have breath, we will remember in all circumstances to do all that we can to “act justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.”

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