Pictures of our hotel room -
We first went to the Holocaust Museum in Budapest. It was just as good as the one in Berlin. It focused on the Jews in Hungary, which had the highest population of all the countries in central Europe. It was also the most graphic museum we visited. For me, I was a lot more moved by the museum in Berlin because it really focused on the symbolism and broader perspective of the genocide. This museum was the end. It was the last part of the class and I was tired. I had taken a journey that started in Berlin, Germany, the capital and source of the Holocaust, traveled further and further until I found myself standing in the museum in Budapest, watching a bulldozer push corpse into a mass grave. The little black and white screen showing the liberation of a camp made me light headed. There was nothing left to do. The culture was gone; it had been starved, chased, and murdered out of central Europe. I asked myself in that museum - "Will there ever be closure?"
Probably not for a long, long time.
After the museum, we walked to the largest synagogue left in eastern Europe. It was very beautiful and gave us a better understanding of what many synagogues looked like before the war. This was the only fully restored synagogue we had seen on the trip.
In the courtyard, there was a closed off garden. It was, in fact, a cemetery. When the Soviet Union liberated Budapest in 1945, they came upon the synagogue, where they found the bodies of thousands of murdered Jews laying inside. They were laid to rest in a mass gave in the courtyard. Outside of the courtyard, there is a silver tree to memorialize those murdered Jews.
Afterwards, we were free to walk around the city. Lindsey and I decided to go down to the shore of the Danube, where there was a memorial for Jews that had been lined up and shot into the river by the Nazi police during the war.
Lindsey and I then decided to walk around Budapest for a while, since I didn't get a chance to see the city the previous day. It was a beautiful day and the warmest day (roughly 45 degrees) of the trip. I was still slightly sick, but it didn't make any real difference for me; I enjoyed the day immensely!
The next morning, on February 1st, we boarded a plane and made our way back around the world to Ashland, Virginia. Thank you so much for following my blog!
Love is found not at the destination, but in the journey.