The last day of the tour! This morning we went to central Innsbruck, where Jacob Hutter was executed. We also saw the golden roof which Maximilian I had constructed to look out over the square, and then had time to explore the area on our own.
We moved on to Rattenberg, Pilgram Marpeck’s home. The house where he lived is now a lead crystal glass centre. John told us about Marpeck’s importance, and about his overarching focus on the primacy of the message of love in Christianity.
Our last stop of the day was at the Dachau concentration camp. Visiting sites like this memorial of the Holocaust might be emotionally difficult, but it is important to take in these tangible reminders of the worst parts of our history. Mennonite history also includes people who supported Nazism. We cannot ignore our own culpability and our responsibility to find a better way, by looking to the example of people like Pilgram Marpeck and his theology of love.
Now more than ever it is vital to look to the past as a reminder of what can happen if we let ourselves see some groups of people as “other”, lesser, dangerous. We must all actively work to transform our world into one where all people are valued, even if those with power try to convince us that those who are different from us are somehow a threat.
I want to close by saying how much I’ve appreciated all the people I’ve travelled with over the last two weeks. It’s been a group who have been eager to engage meaningfully with each other and with our shared history, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know each one.
As we all head our separate ways tomorrow, may we travel safely, and may the time we spent together on tour be a blessing to each of our lives.
– Morgan Regehr