Sunday, January 15, 2012

Himmler's Castle

Wewelsburg Castle, as it was called before Heinrich Himmler took it over in 1933, has a very dark past. It was built in the early 1600's as a second residence for the Prince Bishops of Paderborn. It is a Renaissance castle and is rumored to have been used to interrogate and torture witches during the 17th century. There is a lot of mystery and speculation associated with the castle, but we went there because of Heinrich Himmler.
Himmler was the head of the dreaded SS and Hitler's personal bodyguard. He was a terrible person who performed some of the most heinous acts during WWII. He set up Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp and was at the head of all camps throughout the war. He also oversaw the "Final Solution" which was the Nazi attempt to exterminate all Jewish people throughout Europe.
After reading a lot about Heinrich Himmler, I've come to the conclusion that he was probably a huge effing nerd growing up and got made fun of a lot, which cultivated him into the kind of person who could torture and kill millions of innocent people. He picked Wewelsburg Castle so he could have a secret hang out for the SS and do weird occult Nazi rituals. He had a crypt with 12 seats so he could have his own Knights of the Round Table. NERD ALERT! He was really into psychics, reincarnation (although I don't know what he was expecting to be reborn as after the reign of indescribable terror he lead during his life), astrology and German mythology. I really don't know how he became second in power in The Third Reich.
The castle has 2 museums and tours. One is 3 euro and is really about the castle's history before Himmler. It's also only in German so not very educational for me. The other tour is strictly about the castle being used as the secret headquarters for the SS and is very interesting and some of it is in English.
West Tower

Entrance to the courtyard

Aaron & Corey

Me & Corey

The courtyard. Wewelsburg is the only 3 sided castle in Germany.

Door to interior tower

Friday, January 6, 2012

Almost set

Getting settled in a new country always has its challenges. Luckily, most people and places speak English here so while it's been frustrating, I can't imagine how much more difficult it has to be everywhere else. Today we got our internet installed and that pretty much puts the final touch on our home. All of our stuff has been delivered. It's scattered around the closetless house, but once we make a trip to Ikea, I'm sure it'll be a little more organized. It's been tough downsizing the kitchen, but we're almost there.
We didn't have to work for about 9 days so we took the chance to drive around a little (Prius #1 has arrived) and we had fun seeing a few nearby places. 

Atomium in Brussels, Belgium 
Lorraine Cemetery in St. Avold, France

Metz, France

Trier, Germany

Trier, Germany

Porta Nigra in Trier, Germany

Le Funambule Waffles in Brussels