Category Archives: Perception

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 –

I have been a joke, Now I clearly see!

Behind the shadow of a Footscray tree
The figure of you I suddenly see
Thinking it was a surprise for me
I became a joke for all to see!

Love is a joke, most wanted me to see
But, my trust in you, I wanted them to see
Singing with smiles and years of such glee
Hoped any moment you would come to see!

Years go by, so you I came to see
Four years I longed for your love for me
Only four hours you gave with no love for me
I have been a joke, Now I clearly see!

– 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 Journalist and Me on ICE692

So it was the last 4 days of my holidays. I was traveling from Zürich, Switzerland, to Berlin, Germany via Frankfurt, Germany.

The train from Frankfurt to Berlin was extremely crowded. It was difficult to find a seat for myself, let alone a window seat. So I randomly selected an aisle seat of a two-seat seating setup. The passenger sitting on the other seat, quite a stunning looking man, was typing a long write-up using MS Word on his Dell laptop.

After sometime, maybe after seeing my train ticket and travel documents, he asked me about my travelling.

As most of you who know me well enough knows;

I love to talk!

If no one is around, I break myself into two and talk to the other imaginary self.

So this invitation was like fuel to a fire! 💁‍♂️🤦‍♂️🙆‍♂️

Coincidentally, he is a Journalist, a real life Journalist who is writing to a German Newspaper, both paper based and online. His primary field was politics. I was super excited all of a sudden. I felt so blessed.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for giving me yet another opportunity to learn. Not to mention from a stunning looking teacher, who was friendly.

🙏

Nim

was what I muttered in my head.

So, what did I learn?

I asked him about his writing style and about “editors”. I mean, what else to ask from a real life Journalist who was passionately writing about some political campaign which was happening first time in German political history.

What was his favourite colour?

💁‍♂️🤦‍♂️

What I learnt about Editors

Me:

So do editors just edit spelling, grammar, and maybe some words and tone of voice, or do they ever completely take away your message and your personality from your writing?

Journalist Dude:

They only edit the spelling and grammar, or sometimes change my words to better communicate my message. They never change it too much. I never feel it has changed too much.

I was so glad to here this.

Most of my friends in creative industries have told me that after editing or going through client presentations, their original message is completely gone, and overtime, they don’t see their creativity and get bored!

It appears either editors have changed or this dude was blessed with good editors. Either way he is blessed.

What I learnt about his writing styles

My Question:

So when you write do you present facts to present all aspects discussing pros and cons, so that readers can make their own decisions or do you present your opinion and present accordingly?

What I learnt about his styles:

He primarily uses two methods for his writing:

  • If and when he has an opinion about a situation, he discusses the facts and findings that promotes and prooves this opinion.

Editors apparently have no issues with this as they feel he is entitled to have an opinion.

  • When he has no opinion, or it is merely about a situation that cannot have any biases, he discusses the different sides through his findings and leave things in the hands of the reader.

I love this style the most.

But, a writer is a human. It is an interpretation based on information they have gathered, seen through the lense of their experiences of life.

Readers always must be somewhat responsible as well.

Of course some readers may say “You are judgemental” or something that oppose the views of the writer.

I think a writer must hear them, but not take it onboard fully. Just have it as a background voice to observe. At least that is what I do as a novice writer who only writes on a blog.

After a while he mentioned he has to finish his article and politely asked me to shut up 💁‍♂️

I took this opportunity to write about a painting that I saw in Strasbourg, France, in the Museum of Fine Arts.

He finished his article and we were getting close to Berlin. I also finished my blog.

It felt cool to be sitting next to an actual writer and write, while they were also writing. I felt like we were still communicating. I felt like a child!!! 🤦‍♂️

Sooooo, we got to talk again, about other stuff. I also managed to show him a few of what I wrote, and get a little validation.

Yep. Sometimes I like a little validation. 💁‍♂️

Who doesn’t?!?🤔

But, good news is I observe it to the best of my ability. If not at the moment, moments later, could be days, weeks, or months. But, I revisit it.

Thank you Mr. German Newspaper Journalist who travelled on ICE692 which arrived in Berlin at 1429 hours last Thursday, 5th September, who is finishing all his work before he takes a break to visit family. (I didn’t ask him his name or anything else – was a little too shy, I saw he was on twitter, but felt a little too shy!!! 🤦‍♂️)

I absolutely loved the chat, and felt really blessed.

Who knows, maybe one day I see you again.

🤗

– Nim –

P.S: I give up… There is no such thing as stereotypical male brain!

Yet another one of my attempts to understand stereo typical male brain…

Having been told that I’m different using many different words by my fellow schoolmates, then having realised indeed I’m a lil different, and then having been reenforcing that belief and attracting such experiences, I am keen to find out what is so different about what “real men” do…

Passenger to my left on the train to Frankfurt appears to be straight and kinda alpha….. I mean I don’t know how to check this, but I kinda felt his Alpha-ness 💁‍♂️. He is spreading himself comfortably in his seat, quite cute actually. So relaxed. Picking on his nose 🤦‍♂️, while panick stricken me is now pressing myself against the train wall… Not wanting to accidentally touch him…

Of course I had a sneaky look as he appears to be physically larger than me… Which is appealing… I didn’t go into further details, the presence itself was sufficient to make me write a blog post 💁‍♂️

So in an attempt to understand him, I’m looking at his phone.

He is shopping…

Entire time on the train he is online shopping….

So why do we always talk about female’s obsession with shopping 💁‍♂️

Naaawwww….

Children’s toys!!! He is shopping for Children’s toys…

This is so cute!

💥🔥😘😍🤩

🤗🤗🤗

But then again, this is what I used to do for my nephew, when money wasn’t much in my way 💁‍♂️

So #WTF 🙆‍♂️

P.S: I give up… There is no such thing as stereotypical male brain!

– 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 –