I have been hearing a lot of stories as of late. Stories of war, of the bravery of soldiers and the futility of their fight. Stories from refugees illuminating the reasons behind their flight and the struggles still facing them within the borders where they find their sanctuary. Stories guide me through Europe. They give me a context in which to experience a city and they teach me more intimately of the major moments in Europe’s past.
My mind keeps lingering on the stories I’ve heard from Dachau concentration camp. I went into Dachau expecting to be disgusted and upset with the evidence of man’s cruelty to man, and sure enough I was. Dachau’s stories speak vividly of the horrors and brutality experienced by many during World War II. But Dachau surprised me. From it I heard of many examples of love. Imagine loving someone else while you are being beaten; while you are starving; while you are being publicly humiliated and emotionally disgraced. How? How do you find love in such a mess of cruelty? Dachau’s stories still speak to me of the utmost evil aspects of the human condition but even more strongly of the hope and love found in its midst.