Breendonk, Memorial

So what to do when the Teens™ are here, utterly bored and the 'grumpy teen mode' switch has been turned to engaged?
That's right. You visit a concentration camp. We went to Breendonk.
Every year, 35,000 to 40,000 schoolchildren visit the Memorial. Since the Teens™ live on the wrong side of the border they are not going to be part of those thousands of kids any time soon. So we decided to pluck them from their pink clouds of ignorance, fantasy and the land where unicorns fart rainbows and land them right in the middle of the thing we call horrible historical reality. And as After Dinner Film we made them watch Der Untergang. Double whammy of history. I know, we are a pair of sadistic home schoolers by any standards.
Alas when we asked what their thoughts were on the visit Youngest Teen™ said: "It was nice".

*insert Picard facepalm here*

I don't think they got it. And they will probably answer in the negative when asked if they did anything nice during Spring break.
The Memorial's mission is so that no child can go away without having formed a precise idea of its history, and of racial and political persecution. I hope they have succeeded, because if they have symptoms of success are not noticeable.
When quizzed upon return home about the symbol of Nazism Middle Teen™ could not tell me it was a swastika. She not only failed to recognise it when shown, she just stated: 'I have never heard of that before'. [She did however remember a Father Ted episode (Are You Right There, Father Ted?) featuring. an array of WW II memorabilia. So a bit puzzled on that one].

Dr Livingstone was very impressed, ditto for me. This was my second visit. I had already been to the Memorial when I was about the same age as Middle Teen™ but it still grabs you by the throat no matter how many times a person gets confronted with the atrocities humans can commit. Breendonk is only a small speck on the gruesome map of concentration camps, but one which witnessed the same desire to annihilate the individual, which shared the same objective of enslaving and negating the human person.

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