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Day 405 - Poland - Beyond the Worst Thing You Can Imagine

Today for our little journey we are going to head into the depths of horror. A true mind crushing surreal nightmare.that defies comprehension. Why, you wonder? Well, to remember. To remember never to underestimate the ability of humans to embark gung ho in the worst of possible directions. To remember that human perception slides with the times and the environment that we are immersed in. To remember to look around at the world we live today and perhaps spot the seeds of bad ideas taking root and to reject blindly accepting them as an acceptable "normal." There was a time not to long ago where a group of humans thought that to slaughter their brethren as one would kill giant insects, was somehow a good idea. In the world today, that time is still now and may always be but history knows of none that has ever pushed the mass extermination of humans to a more clinical, cold, horrific level.

Today roadies Scott, Sat Hari, Veronica and honorary roadie Emma B, head to Auschwitz, a Nazi concentration camp and where the home and office of one Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Höß was located.

"Rudolf Höß was one of history's greatest mass murderers, the architect and SS Kommandant of the largest killing center ever created, the death camp Auschwitz, whose name has come to symbolize humanity's ultimate descent into evil. Responsible for exterminating 2,5 million people in World War II, he was a mild-mannered, happily married Catholic who enjoyed normal family life with his five children despite his view of the crematoria chimney stacks from his bedroom window."

"Work Makes (one) Free"

"About 700 prisoners attempted to escape from the Auschwitz camps during the years of their operation, with about 300 attempts successful. A common punishment for escape attempts was death by starvation; the families of successful escapees were sometimes arrested and interned in Auschwitz and prominently displayed to deter others. If someone did manage to escape, the SS would kill ten random people from the prisoner's block. This was a quite persuasive method to discourage escape attempts."

"Another improvement we made over Treblinka was that we built our gas chamber to accommodate 2000 people at one time whereas at Treblinka their 10 gas chambers only accommodated 200 people each. The way we selected our victims was as follows: We had two SS doctors on duty at Auschwitz to examine the incoming transports of prisoners. The prisoners would be marched by one of the doctors who would make spot decisions as they walked by. Those who were fit for work were sent into the camp. Others were sent immediately to the extermination plants. Children of tender years were invariably exterminated since by reason of their youth they were unable to work. Still another improvement we made over Treblinka was that at Treblinka the victims almost always knew that they were to be exterminated and at Auschwitz we endeavored to fool the victims into thinking that they were to go through a delousing process. Of course, frequently they realized our true intentions and we sometimes had riots and difficulties due to that fact. Very frequently women would hide their children under the clothes, but of course when we found them we would send the children in to be exterminated. We were required to carry out these exterminations in secrecy but of course the foul and nauseating stench from the continuous burning of bodies permeated the entire area and all of the people living in the surrounding communities knew that exterminations were going on at Auschwitz.

I understand English as it is written above. The above statements are true; this declaration is made by me voluntarily and without compulsion; after reading over the statement I have signed and executed the same at Nuremberg, Germany, on the 4/5/1946. - Rudolf Höß."

And for those whom wish to see photos that are so grim they are hard to process for their true intesity

A doorway built by humans that existed in an incomprehensible perception realm. I try and grasp a state of mind that could possibly swirl everyday humans into executioners that carry out orders and laugh as children and mothers and doctors and tailors and wanderers and are gassed and shaved while pillaging their belongings and selling their hair for mattresses. The alien concept is so surreal it feels as if it could never occur, not here, not there, not anywhere. But it did and it can again as we humans are not immune from a bad idea spreading amongst us as a mind-virus infecting the masses, crystallizing our fears into manifestions of hatred.

Wary, I am so wary of anything or anyone that utilizes fear to perpetuate their objectives, as thought-structures that are built from fear can not help but be permeated with hatred. It is so pathetic that it proves irresistible for our false leaders to shovel out piles of fear to manipulate us, the idiot masses. "Danger danger, quick give me your money and soul so I can empower my greed and validate my twisted illusions." So transparent yet it fools the fools everytime.

Dave Rat

Day 404 - July 1st - Chorzow Poland - How Bad Can it Be?

So rather than ride a bus for 16 hours I asked my musical friends if I could join them on the plane. This tour is a bit rough. Though not as rough as climbing Mount Everest barefoot and naked but it is more rough than the previous tour legs we have acclimated to. We are moving fast and far and have lots of trucks full of gear and jumping between festivals and stadiums and everything keeps changing. Tough comes in various forms, the hard work type were you kick ass sleepless day after day and the mind fuckery tough where you are constantly chasing gremlins between the times you are trying to predict and prevent them. One has a rhythm, the other does not. So maybe rough is not the right word and perhaps more accurately stated, the motion of this tour lacks rhythm, which makes it tough.

As we are greeted upon landing by our bullet proof vest wearing pals, it becomes clear that we are not in Kansas. So of course we grab the tough guys to do a photo op with Sat Hari while crossing our fingers that bullet proof vests won't be an item I find myself wishing I wore.

Now what do we do?

And while thumbing through a German lighting magazine, memories of the good old days come rushing in

Dave Rat