Category Archives: Introduction

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp – A Concentration of Ego and Helplessness

On Saturday, 7th September 2019, I visited the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.

I went with a tour operator named Insider Tour Berlin, which I highly recommend.

Insider Tour Berlin

I went to the West meeting point, and they had a lot of helping guides making sure none of us got lost. An Extremely friendly bunch. They give you really personal attention.

A tour guide named Chloe, an extremely friendly girl originally from England, welcome the group. While she gave us personal attention, her task was to take us half way to meet with Martin, a Tour Guide who was born and raised in Oranienburg, Germany, the town where the first Concentration Camp, Sachsenhausen is located.

Martin’s knowledge about history, and his passion about sharing his knowledge to contribute towards a better world was like a fountain of love. He didn’t just give us the historic facts. He got us to imagine, think, take our time, question, and really understand the kind of mentality of humans who built and operate these camps, who witnessed, and those unfortunate souls, the victims.

He was my hero and my teacher for that day.

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What I learnt from Martin

An Introduction

24th March 1933, an act was passed that enabled SA (Assault Division) backed by Adolf Hitler to legally continue his madness.

What was formally Thuggery and Unacceptable now became legal.

Somewhere in mid March the same year (1933), first SA Concentration camp was setup in Sachsenhausen.

There had been so much thought and planning gone into the design and architecture of the camp itself

Whilst the entire design was to serve a purpose for Hitler’s and his Follower’s needs, I could not stop seeing a Buddhist Stupaya (ස්ථූපය), Chaitya (චෛත්‍යය), or Da-Gaba (දාගැබ) in the aerial view of the main camp area that is encapsulated within a triangle.

What vastly different purposes for the same identity given for a pictorial object in my mind!

What vastly different human beings behind the same!

One was intended for harm, created by an Evil Man!

One was intended to save what remains of a Noble Man!

Both preserves a Man and a Message!

Later, this camp was taken over by SS or Schutzstaffel, an elite and recognised group of inhuman humans!

They ran the camp from 1936 June up to 1945.

An Administration Centre for all activity was built in 1938. A quite large building, probably employed a large number of people, as the prisoners increased from around 2000 to around 14000.

This building as well as most other buildings within the Camp, including the beautiful houses on the road on the way to the Camp had been built by the prisoners.

The houses built by prisoners, for the workers of the Camp, who tortured their minds, bodies, and spirit.

I wonder what went through these prisoners minds!

P.S: I was trying to take a picture of the house, but the group of beautiful people who visited the camp with me that day coincidentally was walking past.

The original camp became too small and the initial triangular design, around which a lot of other structures were already put up, could not scale to the new needs.

The Camp which was 25 hectares, ended up being 388 hectares.

The Welcome Sign

At the welcome, the prisoners were told that they would find peace here. And they had no prior knowledge of what goes on in there.

The one true thing humans fundamentally desire the most!

A state of peace. Both external and internal.

And the Evil captured in a Human Shell mocked the prisoners with this!

This is so sick!

It makes me sick!

But, having had to go through the torture and pain, they would have been wanting peace.

Why are humans so mean to each other?

Early days, everyone had to shave their heads as soon as they entered the camp, they were allowed to keep their clothes. But, in 1938 they introduced the striped pyjamas.

The Female – Bottom of the Food Chain

Female rights clearly were nonexistent during this time. The camp was mostly male, and a handful of females had been selected to work as sex slaves for selected prisoners!

Yep! They had to go through the same pain, and more!

Sex is a beautiful thing,

but here,

with no consent or control, having to go through laborious physical work during day time while processing so much about their losses, and without no financial, or any other incentive or reward,

they were forced to sexually please the superior breed!

The Male!

How many died? Who died? Why?

The first mass murder happened in Sachsenhausen in 1941, when over 10,000 prisoners of war from Soviet Union were killed.

Thousands of educated people including professors were killed here.

A man who clearly didn’t value knowledge or wisdom!

Jews made up from 10% to 20% of prisoners.

And there were other labels, categories, and subcategories! Each label had a badge.

– Political prisoners of war
– Criminals (Unsure what constituted to a crime, when the biggest Criminal of recorded history is deciding)
– Homosexuals
– Prostitutes
– Alcoholics
– Gamblers
– Homeless
– Socially Different (Once again 💁‍♂️)
– Free Thinkers
– Communists

Danish and Norwegian, Aryan prisoners were treated a little better.

Homosexuals and some other inferior prisoners had to do dangerous jobs like defusing bombs.

426 bombs found!

Royal Airforce only shared their flight plan 10+ years ago, and now it’s getting easier to locate these bombs that were used 3/4 a century ago!

Last one found 4 weeks ago. 🤦‍♂️

Camp had a hospital, but more than 90% didn’t have access.

In November, 1936 Gustav Lamper was killed in a “hat game”, a cruel method that forced the prisoner to go to an area called “Neutral Zone”, by throwing their hat to the zone, and ordering them to pick the hat.

The officials could shoot any prisoner with no questions asked if the prisoner crossed the line to Neutral Zone.

When Ego Driven Self Validation kicks in, taking a human life had looked like a game!

And Ego is Ego!

When unaware, the thirst never quenches!

The method got famous and soon was followed in other Camps.

From year 1945 to 1950 thousands of Germans both part of the SA, SS, Etc and not voluntarily involved with Hitler’s madness were imprisoned here. Many died over hunger and diseases.

Hate! More Hate!

Somehow there has been an endless supply of man made identities to kill and harm another man!

Some other torture tricks that made it to the books of history, while some torturous techniques would have only been seen by God!

In the morning roll call, a Jew would be selected to exercise naked in front of everyone before the day’s work.

The prisoner accommodation itself was a torture technique.

The tour group was shown inside of the camp setup that was for the Jews.

It consisted two sleeping sections, each having bunk beds. Each bunk bed had 3 levels. There were 25 such beds on each section. Originally designed for 150 prisoners. But later years, each bed had to be shared by 3 prisoners, who had to share 1 level of a bunk bed.

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Food was a watery cabbage soup with a slice of bread, about 500 calories for these people to do hard labour.

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They had to wake up 4.15 am every morning, make bed, clean room, wash up and go to the toilet, and by 4.45 they had to make it to the morning role call. If they didn’t make it in time, they will be penalised. The toilets were VERY limited considering even the original intended numbers.

British and other military information holders were considered special prisoners. So they had somewhat spacious, yet isolated chambers.

But the punishment to get them to talk was hang them on this pole, and 25 whips in lower back and they had to count in German. If they messed up they got it again. Some would collapse, and pass out due to pain. Some would get severe damage to organs, and with limited access to hospitals, they would also soon deteriorate and die.

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Homosexuals

About 1200 homosexuals were said to be imprisoned.

Of course, this has to be the somewhat flamboyant lot. Then there would have been the others who were “manly”, but who knew very well about their own inside story, but helplessly watching!

The “cure” for homosexuals was castration. Most ended up getting infections and died. They say more than 700 ended up being castrated and dying.

Unfortunately, end of the holocaust, didn’t end homosexual suffering. If they survived, as per the governing law, they went back to prison.

Only in 1993, homosexuality got legalised in Germany!

A little memorial existed within the camp for homosexuals. I had nothing to offer, yet everything to offer. Earlier this year, I received a rainbow coloured wrist band from Australian SES Fire Crew. I left it there in the memorial, only as a token, but I will carry them in my heart as long as it goes on.

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A teeny-tiny, memorial also remains in a corner within the City. Opposite the Jewish memorial. If it weren’t for Martin, I wouldn’t have known it existed. Fortunately, on my way back to hotel, I went and had a look.

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Did anyone try to escape the camp?

In 1936, 7 people tried to escape.

6 of them were crucified!

The 7th, when they found in Belgium 4 years later, was beaten up severely every morning.

After 3 such mornings he ran into the electric fence and killed himself.

Holocaust and the World Wars are Lessons for Humans, But Have we Learnt?

The amount of effort, careful planning, and creativity that has gone in to carefully addressing issue after issue that came up in their torture and killing facility, to be able to give the most amount of torture in the most silent way fascinates me…

If that kind of creativity and passion was channelled towards humanity….

But, we haven’t learnt…. After many decades, we still channel our creativity to kill. We still have wars, prisoners of wars, refugees of wars, and then groups who judge and discriminate them.

Dear Lord,

Why did you create humans? This doesn’t make sense!

Is this a tiny mistake in your coding? Did you mistype something, or create a feature which turned into a nightmare?

These days humans want to create robots!!

What if they create a similar mistake in coding!!!

Isn’t one such breed of idiots enough?

If you are really there, which I feel you are,

Help us!

Thankfully, what they tried to erase, couldn’t be erased. Soviets rescue mission worked for the aged, sick, and feeble who couldn’t walk or move.

It was only about 3000 prisoners, but Soviets gave them medicine and revitalised them.

Of course poor prisoners wouldn’t have trusted.

But they all got free. Some were forced to share information, and some others in later years, shared their pain and suffering. The world got to know how cruel humans can be.

I personally am disgusted by the level of cruelty.

In Sri Lanka, we had a president, Mr. Ranasinghe Premadasa. Him and his entourage, with his knowledge and order, and of course using his name, many other evil people, tortured and killed an entire generation of educated humans. I was around 7-9 years of age, when most boys and girls aged 17-25 was at the risk of being tortured and killed, whether or not they supported Communism.

The amount of dead bodies we saw, the amount of missing people, the amount of mothers, who never saw their son’s or daughter’s dead body, who couldn’t find closure. The pain continues.

Yet, we haven’t learnt!

The Holocaust was said to have ended in 1950. At least that is when this Camp I visited became inactive. It is 2019, 70 years have gone past. The pain still exists in the Camp, the energy speaks a million things.

But, the world continues to be run by ill will and hatred. Hopefully, one day, we realise and become kinder to one another.

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– Nim –

Holy Spirit is Everywhere

Holy Spirit is Everywhere

Some believe this to be true,
But only to belong Somewhere

Some seek it to make a Better Self,
But only to show Self to Another

Some seek it to make a Better Self, And they seek Everyday
And they seek for Everyone

Some see it…
Some feel it…
Some label it..
Some dance in it…

And Some, just smile and thank it…

– Nim –

Open Minded Party Scene and Me

My last destination for my Europian Holiday was Berlin, Germany. While Switzerland had it’s own intention, Berlin for me was to experience the so called “Open Minded Party Scene”. Of course the primary intention that supercedes all other intentions is:

I choose to continue to Learn and Grow, while sharing what I learn with others through the means I know.

So here I am sharing some of my experiences and my perception of those experiences.

The Grand Arrival in Berlin

I was so happy.

I am in Berlin!!! It was in my mind to do for a long time. Here I am!!

I was smiling to myself and very happy. Also to be in the land Ekhart Tolle, my best guru in this life form, comes from is Germany. So I was super excited.

It was getting close to 3pm though, and doing any tours after 8+ hours on trains were off the cards.

Lets just let your hair down, and party, you wanted to experience it. C’mon, history and stuff can wait.

My inner voice was saying.

The Night Unfolds

So I decided to take a break. 20 days I was relatively a good boy, and I had written so much, I felt like a break.

So I try to locate the near by venues that are “My Kind of Venue”.

First Bar I went to was around the corner from my hotel. Had the rainbow flag flying high. It screamed of acceptance.

Staff was friendly, but not many felt friendly. I tried to talk to the guy next to me, and he said he doesn’t speak English.

And there was this vibe, an undercurrent. Everyone was looking at each other, and looking at me and smiling. I didn’t know how to read it. But I didn’t feel comfortable. So had my drink relatively quickly and left.

Of course across the road was another venue, which was closer to what I waned to experience.

Staff was friendly, venue was very small, but cool. I managed to talk to people and have some “fun”. Again little while later, I was at the bar, kinda in my world. Once again, same feeling. I felt the same people who spoke to me, were now clicky. Maybe it was language difficulties. But, it didn’t feel right.

I started talking to people on my infamous apps. And ended up going out to meet someone who is visiting from Spain.

He was extremely nice, hospitable, friendly… But we didn’t really click, and he was very polite about it.

Then I decided to go to this venue that was recommended by an Australian friend, who knew what I was looking for.

I got to the venue in an Uber. Once I got off, it was really difficult to find the place. None of the raving reviews helped.

Fortunately there was another who was looking for the same place, in this dark corner of the world. So, I didn’t feel alone. But now we were lost together. Then another confident soul appeared. He knew the place and asked us to follow. Wonderful guy from New York who has been living here for a while. He helped me with all my requirements and told me where to go, how to enter, and the entire process.

A while later an intoxicated self was surrounded by about 500 other intoxicated hormone driven self’s. This self felt excited, but scared. The low self worth was screaming in one ear, while the excitement and desire screaming in the other. An ego battle started in my head.

At one point I recall being overwhelmed and overpoured with desire and physical bliss. But, at the same time I have now gone into a zone where I wasn’t too aware or concious. What ever I get upto, what ever I do, that is when I do not like it. Even if I am enjoying, I want to enjoy it fully. I couldn’t pay attention. I was distracted. And I was definitely far from present.

I don’t know what I looked like from the outside. But from that point onwards, all I observed was rejection and thoughts and experiences that re-validated low self worth through calling myself undesirable.

Of course there were few people who showed me love and concern:

Are you ok? Would you like some water? You look dehydrated.

But, I didn’t want that did I?

I clearly wanted to re-enforce my beliefs maybe, I kept attracting these other experiences. And that clickyness and smiles were louder and in my face.

I felt like shit. It reminded me of such a party that I went to in Melbourne back in 2013. Part of me was blaming myself for getting myself into this.

Staff was friendly throughout my time there. I left when the party was done.

But, I didn’t give up, I walked 1.5hours back to the hotel, and dropped in to the second venue. I met some good people there. But I was over a lot of it.

I was thinking about my former lover who recommended me of such a venue in Zürich, and clearly he felt good there. He doesn’t love me anymore and he chose his life to be that. And half of me continued to make stories, and other half was like

Shut up Nim!

I was outside in the bar alone with the bartender, one of the people I met inside came out and asked.

Are you ok? Come inside and join us. Everyone is resting and chatting.

He gave me a long hug, and I returned an even longer one.

I don’t mind feeling lonely at home when I’m alone. Or even when I am close to home. I hate it when I feel lonely when I’m surrounded by people. I couldn’t wait for my flight back home.

This was the first time I felt it during my holidays. But this was also the first time I put myself out there in this kind of setup.

I walked back to my hotel questioning my life, my worth, my desirability, my former lover, and my everything.

I slept the entire day Friday.

The first full day in Berlin, I slept.

So this is what I had planned for the last 4 days to recover from potential loss. The loss had happened, I had somewhat recovered, but I put myself down again.

What was I thinking?

Mum called in the evening, as she hadn’t heard from me. I told her the story.

Maybe I should have listened to her. All she asked me was:

Don’t do anything crazy when you are in those countries. Do what ever you like when you are home, in Australia.

I said to her that I can’t promise that in Berlin.

I guess I learnt again.

Expectations are weird.

Most times you don’t meet them. Sometimes God gives you more, sometimes less.

Either way, it is with good intentions, I like to believe.

Had I liked it, I would have spent my entire time in Berlin partying. But now, I didn’t want to put myself in that situation again. Not here. When I’m home, I can manage. Not when I’m so far away, and not knowing anyone.

All in all, it worked out well. My Saturday was great. Await my next blog.

– Nim –

The unknown future just flew past me!

The unknown future,
I was so afraid of…
I made stories about…
I broke myself for…
I carried the burden of…

It just flew past me!

It wasn’t anything like the positives
It wasn’t anything like the negatives
It was nothing like I imagined!
But,
It wasn’t bad at all 💁‍♂️

And now it’s the known past,
I feel so blessed about…
I learnt so much from…
I rebuilt myself on…
I take with me forever…

And then to the next unknown!
I am so afraid of…
I am so excited about…

But,

Who knows what it tastes like 💁‍♂️

– Nim –

Appreciation of Le Christ Triomphant de la Mort et du Péché by Pierre Paul Rubens

During my holidays in Basel, Switzerland, I was blessed enough to visit Strassbourg, France for a day. During my time there I visited the Strasbourg Museum of Fine Arts.

There were so many pieces of art that captured my heart, but a few made my heart skip a beat.

Christ triumphing over Death and Sin or Le Christ Triomphant de la Mort et du Péché by Pierre Paul Rubens is one of them.

This article is my appreciation and my interpretation of this painting.

One Foot on the Ground

For me the above section of the painting depicts two main things

One foot, the Right foot, solidly on the ground.

For me, this indicates that Christ was firmly grounded. He acknowledged that he was a normal human being. He was humble and grounded. It also indicates that he was solid in his faith and service.

One foot over Death, Hatred, and Ill Will

I wouldn’t want to use the word Sin, as it is over used and has too much identities and beliefs around it.

For me the skull and the bones clearly represent “Death”. The way it is presented adds a layer of “Harm” or “Ill Will”. The fact that one foot is stepping on these bones for me represents that the Christ overcame Death by attaining Eternal Peace. He reached the deathless. It also represents he is human and has human thoughts, but he is quite alert about these, hence he had overcome Hatred and Ill Will.

Serve now for the Future Generations

These segments of the painting tells me he loved planet earth and he understood the focus in the “now” should be about children as they hold the planet’s and all of humanity’s future. The child holding on to the green leaves, for me indicate that

If we plant a seed of love, hope, faith, and service, now, the children will be able to harvest the fruits of it in time to come.

Faith in the Curious to Return to Innocence

This section shows Christ’s faith, strength, determination. The cross for me represents protection. The child here represents the curious minds who yet haven’t subscribed, but are curious.

For me this child represent ego captured within every human being. Therefore as a whole Christ protects himself and others from his own ego is one way to look at it. Another is ego’s curiosity, let it be Christ’s own, his followers, or others.

Overall I see this section as,

His actions and early fruits invite some egoic energy. But with solid intention, faith, love, compassion, and strength he lets the curious egos to be! Knowing they’ll return home one day, to child-like innocence.

Children

The painting’s children represents to me Christ’s own child-like nature as well as well as how he looks at all others.

Face of the Christ

His eyes are filled with love. But the eyes also speak of sadness, heavy heartedness or pain. There are prayers of hope captured in the lovely sad eyes of the Christ.
The face itself looks peaceful.

Isn’t he Beautiful?

– Nim –

A Digital Human Expression – Appreciation of Digital Art of Vera Molna

While holidaying in Switzerland, I decided to step into the Museum of Digital Art, Zürich. For my luck, they were exhibiting Vera Molnar’s creations.

Once again, I didn’t know who Vera Molnar was until yesterday, Tuesday, the 3rd September 2019. The gorgeous girl who gave me a guided tour made a fake annoyed face when I said this to her.

Vera Molnár (born 1924) is a French media artist of Hungarian origin. She is considered a pioneer of computer art.

Wikipedia

What inspired me apart from her Art

Vera Molnar is said to be 95 years old now, and she had started digital art about 60 years ago, with a device similar to below, with just basic electronic signals being sent to the device.

Of course this picture is a modern looking device, and probably not what she used, but hope you get the message

This was even before computers 💁‍♂️

Isn’t she awesome!!

And I was impressed by her lover’s interest in her art, where he spent time trying to understand what catches her eye, what inspired her, and what she considered beautiful.

Last but not least, I was told she got into art upon a heartbreaking break-up with a former lover.

I can so relate to this!!! 🤦‍♂️

How I saw her through her art

I was told that Vera Molnar loved to start off simple, but then to disturb the simplicity or break the rules. What I observed is, when the series of disturbances are exhibited together they tell us a beautiful story about the human mind.

Let me dive into the below series of her art.

Top left hand side corner is the piece of art she started off with.

This piece of art resembles the human mind and belief systems of a new born baby. Very structured and simple. Very simple needs and beliefs. I feel it has more feeling than emotions.

Then she gradually “disturbed” with slight disturbances.

This to me feels like the human mind adding various beliefs to itself, one at a time. Slowly loosing our original authentic self. But still resembles the “Child-like nature”

At some point the disturbances made the original form completely dissapear.

This to me says a story about how our beliefs change into a disturbed confusing mess! We can’t see any patterns. Of course the journey was beautiful, but the end product is not so pretty. It almost resembles a depressed state. Clouded!

Then she removes layer by layer of inc.

This to me resembles when One becomes aware of their mind. How one now attempts to be responsible, and look into all beliefs one at a time, and removing unnecessary, unhelpful mind patterns

Final product is quite different to the one she began with. Not so structured, but more Beautiful.

For me this resembles clarity, and authenticity. One can not erase their memories, and the past. But they learn from it. They grow. They become at peace with who they’ve become and they thank their journey.

The exact point when the disturbances go out of control

My lovely guide and I was having a lovely conversation about the below piece of work.

She mentioned:

I never can see the exact point when it starts to get messy.

I of course had to bring it back to the human beliefs. I believe this happens when a child goes through huge hormonal shifts.

Their Body says one thing.

Their Beliefs have no information about what the body says.

Their Parents say another thing.

Their teachers say yet another thing.

Their Friends say many other things.

Their society, social networks say a lot more!

I feel like the child is confusingly layering various contradicting thoughts, beliefs, and mind patterns here. And that unmanaged disturbed collection of mind patterns is what we call Adults. And they rule the world!

Lovely! 🤦‍♂️

It doesn’t mean all adults are like this. But it would be best if adults become somewhat self aware and somewhat emotionally intelligent before they became parents, teachers, or leaders.

My Thanks

Dear Vera Molnar,

It was an absolute blessing to see you through your art. We may never meet, but I feel like we already have.

I loved the below pieces of art as they capture the first letter of the first name of my mother and myself.

Thank you so much for your hard work and expressions.

Love you,

– Nim –

Thank You Switzerland

It is a beautiful and sunny day here in Zürich Switzerland, on this Wednesday, 4th September 2019. I feel rather heavy hearted, and am experiencing complicated and mixed emotions. I guess my holidays are over and I am getting ready to leave tomorrow.

Thank You

I would like to extend my thanks to Switzerland, it’s government, and people. I felt very safe in this country, and mostly at home. People have been mostly very friendly and hospitable.

I would also like to thank the Swiss Government for opening your doors to people from my home country, Sri Lanka, who did not feel at home in their own country during 1980s. Thank you for looking after them, and doing the best job you can do to give them a home. These words of mine do not do sufficient justice to the gratefulness I feel in my heart.

🙏🙏🙏

Immigrants and Refugees

When I attended the FrontEnd Conference Zürich, I was blessed enough to meet an immigrant, who has been living here for a few years, who cannot go back to his home land. He mentioned that the Swiss Government is looking after him, and he has also been blessed to find work finally after 2 years. He looked rather lonely, and his words captured so much pain that I went rather down to the depths of despair. He was thankful for what he has today, but he is lonely, that I felt. He was really sad, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was depressed as well.

I was lonely as an immigrant in Australia the first couple of years. I was severely depressed and had to seek counselling and had a life coach for about first 5 years.

When one belongs to a minority, they already have negative beliefs captured around it. So even the slightest negative expression from majority would make an almost dramatic negative impact to the one from minority. Although this should be understood by everyone, I feel the majority can attempt to be a little more considerate in their human expression.

For an example,

If we invite a guest to our house, because they are homeless, provide them food and shelter, but not friendship, love, care, or include in a family like atmosphere, although they have shelter for their body, they don’t have shelter for their mind. Humans thrive to be loved, to be included, to belong. Although we are on a race for material things, on a sad day, it’s not a toy that makes us happy, it’s a hug or a friend who takes care of us.

So, as Swiss Citizens, although I do thank you for everything you’ve already done for your immigrants, I can see that you can improve. So maybe I’ll be hopeful about it.

LGBTIQ Community

I have spoken to quite a few Swiss Citizens who belong to LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgender, Intersex, Questioning) community, and of course a lot of “Straight” people.

One thing was evident, it’s all a bit of a

“Don’t ask, Don’t tell”

affair!

I am so confused and really sad. Switzerland is such an amazingly advanced country. I can’t even think of an industry or a field you are not way ahead when compared to the rest of the world. And I can see the government invests a lot in taking care of people.

In my opinion taking care is not just clean water, good public transport, good retirement, etc.

Taking care is providing equality, emotional safety, a feeling of belonging.

The people of LGBTIQ community live freely, but it was evident that they are second class citizens.

So once again, Swiss Citizens, I thank you for doing the best job you know how to do, but pardon me for noticing areas of growth.

I Love You Switzerland!

I hope we meet again!

🙏

– Nim –