Zev Macklin


Zev Macklin

Europe June 4th 2015

Today I was heading to Lueneburg on an overnight train because I was hoping to catch a bit of the last trial of a Nazi war criminal, Oskar Groening, nicknamed the "book-keeper of Auschwitz," who is accused of being an accessory to 300 000 murders. The trial was particularly interesting because he was specifically charged with the jews murdered from Hungary in 1944, where my Grandmother and her family were deported to Auschwitz from. However, the train strike left me stranded in Frankfurt 8 PM the night before the trial was supposed to start at 9 AM (but you had to line up by 8 AM to get in). Desperate to make it to the trial, I went to the autobahn and hitchhiked to Hamburg (which is close to Lueneburg and had train running in the ... read more

Europe » Netherlands » South Holland » The Hague June 3rd 2015

I arrived in The Hague late last night and met up with my roommates aunt, who is the court reporter for the final trial being held at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Last night was also the first full night sleep I got since I began travelling so it was well needed. The next morning I went to the ICTY to witness part of this final trial, the man on trial is Ratko Mladic, nicknamed the "Butcher of Bosnia," who was Chief of Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska and is accused of being responsible for the Siege of Sarajevo, the largest massacre in Europe post-WWII. The tribunal was really interesting as at the time i was there the main defence lawyer was questioning a witness, but this lawyer had quite ... read more

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Nuremberg May 5th 2015

Today I was supposed to be in the Hague, however, little did I know, German trains was starting their longest strike in history that week, which was a problem since I was travelling everywhere at night by train. Thankfully, it was mainly the night trains that were cancelled, and there were still many day trains still working so I was at least able to travel from Vienna to Nuremberg this morning. Nuremberg was really fascinating, it is large city that has both a new quarter and old quarter, which is surrounded by ancient walls. I spent the morning in the Documentation Centre Nazi Party Rally Grounds, which is probably one of the most interesting museums I have ever been too. It is built right into the ruins of an old Nazi theatre, so their architecture and ... read more

Europe » Austria » Upper Austria » Mauthausen May 4th 2015

Today I went to Mauthousen Concentration Camp in Austria. At first, I got lost and ended up walking around the town of Mauthausen for a couple of hours, which was honestly just very bizarre because it seemed as though the entire town was in he McDonalds, and when I asked for directions, no one in the town knew where the concentration camp was (that was only 5 min away from the centre of the town. Mauthausen is a camp probably only comparable to Auschwitz, it is a huge haunting fortress that just towers over everything, and stands on the top of hill overlooking the town. This camp looked like something out of a movie, with huge prison-like walks and watchtowers that you could go into and walk on, as well as still-built barracks, crematoriums and gas ... read more

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Dachau May 3rd 2015

Today I went to Dachau Concentration Camp for the 70th commemoration of its liberation. The place was really interesting, and the ceremonies were also really well done, but there were a little too many people there for my liking. However, I did get the chance to meet Angela Merkel, the German Prime Minister!!!!!! When we met I was so star struck that I only mumbled for a few, shoock her hand then finally was able to utter “hi,” which she then also said back “Hi,” and I shockingly I was also able to say “Dunka” (which means thank you in German). Sadly, you can only elbow survivors out of your way for soo long…(kidding), that I wasn’t able to get an actually photo her with but only one as she’s coming up to me. I also ... read more

Europe » Germany » North Rhine-Westphalia » Cologne May 2nd 2015

Today I was supposed to be in Amsterdam with Leah, sadly my train from Geneva to Basel got cancelled and so I missed the train from Basel to Amsterdam. I ended up having to spend the night in Basel and the next day in Koln. In Koln they had something called shopping night, where the streets were packed till Midnight, so I walked around there, went to a few free outdoor concerts (which are pretty funny because its old rock songs sang in English with thick German accents) and had the best French Fries I’ve ever had.... read more

Europe » Switzerland » South-West » Geneva May 1st 2015

I went to Geneva because while searching for internships a few months ago, I got an offer (after i had already confirmed in Ghana) at the International Coordinating Committee for National Human Rights institutions, who is situation in the UN Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Place of Nations in Geneva. They allowed me to extend the internship offer till next year, and so I just went there to meet the staff. So right after I arrived, I went to visit Dad’s friend, John Fried (the Ambassador for Canada to the World Trade Organization) at the Canadian Permanent Mission to Geneva. John gave me some advice on Ghana, and then I asked where I could take a shower to clean up for the meeting. He advised there were showers at the airport, ... read more
Permanent Mission of Canada
Palace of Nations

Europe » Germany » Lower Saxony » Lüneburg April 30th 2015

I got to the frankfurt airport at 6:30 and right away took a train to Luneburg (4 hours away) to watch the last ever nazi war crimes trial that’s taken place there (url=http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nazi-auschwitz-camp-accountant-oskar-groening-trial-begins-in-germanyhttp://www.cbsnews.com/news/nazi-auschwitz-camp-accountant-oskar-groening-trial-begins-in-germany/). Sadly, the only place big enough in the town to hold all the guests was the local concert hall and so, instead of the trial, a party was taking place that day. So I explored the town instead which was really beautiful as it is a very small, old town with a lot of cool buildings, churches and a town square. That night I went to hamburg and explored for a few hours, and then hannover, explored and caught a late night train to geneva that night.... read more

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