"Flossenbuerg - Valley of Death" Eurasian68's Profile

Concentration Camp Memorial Site in Flossenbuerg

In May 1938, the SS Economic-Administrative Main Office established the Flossenbürg concentration camp in the mountains of northeastern Bavaria in southern Germany, near the prewar border with Czechoslovakia. Flossenbürg was a men's camp primarily for so-called "asocial" or "criminal" prisoners. The SS used the prisoners as forced laborers in the nearby stone quarries of the SS-owned and -operated German Earth and Stone Works company. In September 1939, the SS transferred 1,000 political prisoners to Flossenbürg from Dachau in southern Germany and completed the transfer of all prisoners in Dachau to the Buchenwald, Mauthausen, and Flossenbürg camps. Prisoners were transferred from Dachau so the Waffen SS (military formations of the SS) could use Dachau for training in the new Death's-Head Division, an elite Waffen SS unit mobilized from concentration camp guards. There were over 4,000 prisoners in the main camp of Flossenbürg in February 1943. More than half of these prisoners were political prisoners (mainly Soviet, Czech, Dutch, and German). Almost 800 were German criminals, more than 100 were homosexuals, and 7 were Jehovah's Witnesses. The majority of the prisoners imprisoned in Flossenbürg during the camp's existence came from the German-occupied eastern territories.
As U.S. forces approached the camp, on April 20, 1945, the SS began the forced evacuation of prisoners, except those unable to walk, from the Flossenbürg camp. About 22,000 prisoners, including 1,700 Jews, were forced on a death march from the main camp toward Dachau in southern Germany. SS guards shot any prisoner too weak or ill to keep up. At least 7,000 prisoners died or were shot before reaching Dachau. U.S. forces liberated Flossenbürg on April 23, 1945. They found about 1,600 ill and weak prisoners, mostly in the camp's hospital barracks. Between 1938, when the camp was established, and April 1945, more than 96,000 prisoners passed through Flossenbürg. About 30,000 died there.

If we accept that there is nothing in this world that is exactly the same, we start to recognize the union of all life. However, people typically try to find this unity without accepting the differences. This leads to an endless search that goes nowhere and brings continous suffering. We want to truly recognize what takes place in day-to-day life, knowing that we will not back away from any situation, which will enable us to learn how to be open for what is. It is in this process that healing takes place.

Walter & Waldemar

"Use your will to bring peace between people"

doesn't always work with them!

My story

...not knowing of any details of my dad's participations was during the World War II during Hitler regime. What I do know now is that he was a member of the Waffen-SS. During his last mission with the Division Prinz Eugen around Berlin, it was April 1945, he escaped by foot and walked to today's Czech Republic, Teplitz Schönau (today: Teplice). He was not alone on this march, he travelled together with 6 male SS-members and 3 female members of the Air Force. When they reached Teplitz Schönau, my dad carried on his journey to Germany, Augsburg via Sachsen by bike. He arrived end of May 1945. Help, auch as food and shelter were offered everywhere along this long journey.

After the war, my dad was accused of his participations and was arrested. He spent years in the Internment Camp in Neu Ulm, later a US Army truck brought him to Ludwigshafen where he spent several months until he was deported to Heilbronn and then Darmstadt.

He left Germany for Korea with the Red Cross in 1954. He worked in the Red Cross Hospital in Busan as a Surgical Assistant and Photo Laborant. At that time, my dad was the only trained staff in the hospital. When his contract expired, instead of returning to Germany, he stayed in Korea for altogether 11 years. Then he moved on to Vietnam in 1966....

During the Vietnam war 1968, my mother, a former Chinese refugee from China, gave birth to me in Can Tho in a mobile hospital which was called the 29th Evacuation Hospital of the US Army. My dad, a German citizen, was a Surgical Assistant in Busan, was now working as a Civil Engineer in contract for the US Army (isn't it strange?). 1973, my dad was sent to Cambodia. There I recall my first childhood days in Phnom Penh. My first Kindergarten visit ended by a bomb attack which killed almost all children in the classroom that day. My memory to this incident is blurr, but it's there - or so I think it is. That was my first and last day of Kindergarten!

Finally, 1976 we arrived Singapore and settled down in the "Lion City". This was where I felt a home at last. A place to belong in... I felt like a Singaporean. I went to Pei Hwa Primary School in Bukit Timah - during those days, this was a Chinese school and I was the only "Ang Mo" (foreigner). When I entered Secondary School, I joined the NCC (National Cadet Corps), wanting to become a recognized member of Singapore. It is is filled with the most beautiful memories of my childhood and my growing up. Then 1983, my parents decided to return to Germany since due to my dad's retirement. I was devastated. The card house I built crushed down all of a sudden. Again, I had to leave my "home", my "friends", my "everything" behind. This time, I even left my heart....

When my beloved dad passed away 1987, it was the saddest time in my life. I left Germany as soon as I had enough money. I flew to Hong Kong carry my backpack, my dog Scooby-doo (a Pekingnese) and 500 D-Mark in my pocket, together with visa to stay for 6 months.

Shortly before my visa expired, I seeked help in the German Embassy. I wanted to stay and I needed a job. Fortunately, the German Bussiness Association was able to find me a job. Soon, I married a famous Chinese Stunt-Coordinator and lived a life as a "Tai Tai". Both my children were born in Hong Kong.

After my divorce, the kids and I moved to Almancil, Portugal and lived there for a year. Then following my head and not my heart, we moved "back" to Germany.

2009: Planning a Walking Pilgrimage Through Korea

“Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach a goal, but to enjoy its beauty and wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.”
(Thank you Ina08 for this quote)

When I first heard about the ancient pilgrimage path in Spain (The St. James Way) last year, something touched me very deepy and I somehow felt the urge to walk hundreds of kilometres a l o n e. Later, someone gave me a book about the personal experiences of a German comedy star (Harpe Kerkeling) who walked The St. James Way. His personal experiences in finding the "Truth" inspired me.

The thought of taking on a month long journey by foot never left me, instead it became bigger and deeper day by day. Then one day last year, during my stay at a Buddhist temple called Songgwang-sa, I felt the call. The time has come for me to take up the challenge in finding the depth and the meaning of my life, of my existence. An important lesson I am already beginning to learn, the doors has already been opened and it cannot be forced to close anymore. Just by ooking at my new bought backpack, I can feel my inner journey has already begun.... Wondering how in heaven shall I pack 4 weeks of my life into a tiny backpack, first lesson is to seperate my "wants" from my "needs" - in my mind.

My journey will begin in Busan - at the location of the German Red Cross Hospital in 1954. This was where my father has worked for 2 years. I will walk along the East coast up North to Soraksan. My destination will be a temple called "Shinheug-sa" (Temple of God's Creation) which is said to be the oldest Zen temple in Korea.

During the walk, I will try to seek temples along the way to ask for shelter at night. The walk will be in September 2009...

Home is Where the Heart is

Singapura, oh Singapura
Sunny Island
Set in the Sea.....

Zen Practice

A true practitioner of the Way
Does not see the mistakes of the world.
If you find fault with others,
You yourself are already in the wrong.
When people are in the wrong, we should ignore it,
For it is wrong for us to find fault.
By getting rid of the habit of fault-finding
We cut off defilement.
When neither hatred nor love disturb our mind,
Serenely we sleep.
If you want to teach
You have to equip yourself with expedient means.
Don’t let the student have doubt or worry,
Then their true nature can appear.
Buddha Dharma is in this world;
Enlightenment is also found in this world
If you search for bodhi outside of this world,
It is like looking for a rabbit’s horn.
Right view means to transcend the world.
Wrong view is called worldly.
When both right and wrong views are completely taken away,
The nature of bodhi appears.
This stanza is the teaching of the Sudden School.
It is also called the The Great Ship of Dharma.
Deluded people can listen to sutras for Kalpas,
But enlightenment can be attained in an instant.
Excerpt from the Sixth Patriarch’s Platform Sutra,
translated by Zen Master Dae Kwang
and Zen Master Dae Kwan

more information: www.kwanumeurope.org

My Hobbies

I discovered the Korean Zen Buddhist practice a few years ago, and since I have become a Zen student, I try to live it in my everyday life. It is not always easy, but I try to do my best. Being a student of the late Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn who founded the Kwan Um Zen School of Zen, I was invited to visit Korea and to participate in his 3rd Year Memorial Ceremony in 2007. This visit also included an exciting and unforgettable tour around various Zen temples in South Korea - where Zen Master Seung Sahn has either lived, or taught, or learned in his younger days...

Besides I have also discovered a passion in Traditional Archery. This hobby has opened some doors for me that I have never expected e.g. it gave me the opportunity to visit Busan in Korea - exactly where my beloved Dad lived in 1954! Is this Karma? Whatever it is, I consider myself as being blessed - for which I am very very thankful. More information: www.tjbd.de

Long before the advent of 3-D targets and laser range finders, bow hunters honed their archery skills in much simpler ways. For the most part, they'd loose arrows at target butts from predetermined ranges. But, if they were really serious about improving their field skills, they would string their favorite hunting bow, grab a quiver, and go roving.

Roving, also known as stump shooting, is a time-honoured form of practice in which archers hike through the countryside, stopping along the way to launch arrows at small natural targets such as decaying stumps and rotting logs, clumps of moss, tufts of grass, conspicuous shrubs, or overturned clods of dirt. A target can be as simple as a fallen leaf that stands out against the soft forest floor. It really doesn't matter as long it provides a challenge, is within practical hunting distance, and is situated in front of a backstop that is safe and, preferably, easy on an arrow.

  • Intro Updated Feb 10, 2009
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Comments (74)

  • toemayn's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Hope your birthday is filled with all the fun you can handle!

  • olddude's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    Happy belated Birthday!!

  • picek's Profile Photo
    Nov 11, 2011 at 7:37 AM

    You've got fascinating lifeline... hope you're going to enjoy Phnom Penh though it is now so different than in 1974. Good luck to you and your lovely kids.

  • TXgal's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Birthday greetings from Texas! I hope you had a wonderful day!

  • elhombre30's Profile Photo
    Oct 23, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    Advance Happy Birthday to you!

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Oct 14, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    An amazing life story, makes me realise how well off we are in Australia. Isolation has its benefits.Hope life is treating you well now!

  • seakayaker's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    Happy Birthday Gerlinde ! I am amazed by your story, Thank You for sharing. This road we travel is amazing, isn't it? Namaste, Precious One

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    May 31, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    What a life you have had so far, so many moves, must have been terrible for you. I am pleased to read that you have found peace, and are enjoying your life.

  • travelightly's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    This isn't working at all. I leave June 1. Bought my ticket moments ago: Quito. Yesterday my immigration attorney there said I would have my residency visa waiting for me when I arrive. Woo hoo! Exciting and scary. This is REAL adventure!!

  • olddude's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    Happy Belated Birthday!!

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