Not sure what we were thinking in going directly from the Dachau Concentration Camp up to Berchtesgaden, Austria, the location of Hitler’s vacation home (Berghof) high up in the Austrian Alps. For Hitler’s 50th birthday this mountain top getaway was presented to him. We went up a tunnel the last 150 feet riding in his brass-mirror lined elevator. Thomas needed to leave a gift in Hitler’s toilet so we waited for him. We had lemonade at a table near the fireplace where Hitler dined with Mussolini in 1942. My tour book here says “it is here that decisions were made that sealed the fate of millions of human beings and that still carry their repercussions throughout the world.”
Remember, we just came from Dachau. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister, said of Hitler’s Berghof… “here one doesn’t notice the war very much.” How nice that Hitler was able to get away from it all. My favorite part of the tour was to hear again how the 101st Airborne ascended this peak. It’s really something seeing pictures of Eisenhower standing in the stand rooms we visited.
From the gas chamber to Eagle’s Nest in less than three hours. Really, the gas chamber to the beast’s den. The reason the Bible calls the anti-Christ the Beast isn’t because he looks like an animal it’s because of his absolutely inhumane and cruel nature – beast-like and beyond reason.
Atop this high place I thought of when the Devil took Jesus to a high place and offered him all the kingdoms of the world if he’d bow to him. Jesus said no. No stretch of the imagination needed to think of the Devil having that same conversation with Hitler in that high place. The Devil is not privy to God’s timetable and so he grooms an anti-Christ in each generation and Hitler was willing to sell his soul for the promise of earthly domination.
One thousand years of German Empire History were eternally tarnished by Hitler’s twelve years of Nazi Dictatorship – 50 million war death, 6 million victims in concentration camps, 18 million homeless, 3 million murdered, starved or frozen while trying to escape.
I’ll have to link you here to stock photo as this whole mountain today was fully encased in a cloud. I think Kaitlyn will have the photos she took up on Facebook soon. We’ve had trouble getting internet so we are a bit behind in reporting. Caleb did a video documentary of Dachau that’s 5 minutes long but we can’t get it uploaded from these internet cafes. Thomas has some interesting stuff now up his blog. Particularly interesting is his first submission in what will likely be a series called “What Should We Get Pastor Dennis?” In each gift shop we find stuff that makes us think of him. Tonight we are in Salzburg, Austria and as soon as I’m done here we are going to put the Sound of Music in the DVD player. The Sound of Music was filmed here and we are signed up for the Sound of Music tour tomorrow.
Oh, the other interesting timing thing today was to get a call from a journalist named Pekka Mykkanen who wanted to interview me about the South Dakota abortion battle (he is the US correspondent of the largest newspaper in Finland, the Helsingin Sanomat.) I felt good about the interview – about 30 minutes. I don’t think he expected me to draw parallels between Dachau and abortion but it was fresh in my head… how it’s wrong to take a human like at any point and in any place, whether it’s in a concentration camp, in a church (Tiller), in a mother’s arms or in her womb. Location/environment has no bearing on personhood; neither does level of development, size or degree of dependency. This story will be published in the newspaper next week and I’ll upload an english version of it when it gets sent to me.