A Selection of Articles and Videos
A Selection of Articles and Videos
In the following sections, I would like to share with you some of the work that I did during my studies at Murdoch University. Enjoy reading and watching!
5 January 2012, I took a morning bus to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site, while traveling in Germany. Cold winter air brushing against my face brought about the eerie fact that 41,500 out of 200,000 over political prisoners died due to terrible living conditions within the camp between 1933 and 1945.
Entry to the Memorial Site is free and patrons can choose either guided tours or audio guides, which cost 3 to 3.50 Euros. Site is open Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm.
My tour began at the Visitor Center. Leading me was a German volunteer-guide, Mr Salzberger, who spoke fairly good English. He gave a brief outline of the tour, which comprises 13 stations and would last about 2 hours 30 minutes.
We were then brought to the front of the Jourhouse, where arrival of the first prisoners took place on 22 March 1933. Thereafter, we entered the Jourhouse through the rod-iron gate, exit and entrance to prisoners’ camp, which separated them from humanity.
Affixed on the gate is the Nazi’s motto “Work Sets Free”, which propagated the camp to outsiders as a “labor and re-education camp”. It also signified the sarcasm of Schutz-Staffel, primary organization that carried out the Holocaust, using forced labor as execution of torture and terror.
Three stations that left the deepest impression were the bunker with better conditions, roll-call square and crematorium. Special prisoners were detained in the better-conditioned bunker. What puzzled me was that Georg Elser, German, who attempted to assassinate Hitler in February 1945, was placed in a bunk that span over two rooms, while others squeezed in non-existent spaces. The roll-call square was where prisoners were counted every dawn and dusk, punishment were announced and carried out publicly to daunt others. Inmates had to carry those who died overnight to be included in the count. At the crematorium, I was flabbergasted that it still somehow reeks of burnt flesh and one could see the hooks that were used to hang prisoners. During the tour, there were occasions where I caught Mr Salzberger wiping away his tears while giving an account of what happened.
27-year-old Mr Sagstetter, a PhD student from Dachau and fellow tour participant, commented that he felt bizarre to be at the site. He mentioned: “it is obligatory for all German schools to visit and learn about the history that such terror should never ever happen again. I somehow feel guilty because of my heritage, even if the Holocaust did not happen in my generation. We rarely hang our national flag outside of our house, and we only started to do so mostly for sports, after the World Cup was hosted by Germany in 2006. Patriotism in Germany is unlike in other countries. ”
29 April 2012 marked the 67th anniversary since American troops liberated the survivors of the Dachau Concentration Camp.
For more information on tour and site, go to www.kz-gedenkstaette-dachau.de
A sunny Saturday afternoon at the Raffles Place Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Station, whether in the 1960s or current, both depicts a lively and bustling scene. In the 1960s, there was the setting up of Singapore’s two oldest department stores that still exist today: Robinson’s and John Little. At the same time, there were also some of the first banks to operate in Raffles Place such as the HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank
In the past, weekends were the busiest in Raffles Place as people came to shop and stroll around the area. Today, it is still as busy due to the development of Raffles Place MRT Interchange Station and the financial district around it. However, it seems the old world charm of the good ol’ days were gone with the soaring commercial buildings.
Today, Raffles Place MRT Station that is located at the south of Singapore River is built directly beneath the centre of Singapore’s financial district. It is one of the more important and busier stations within the island’s transport system.
One can still see the miniature façade of the old Mercantile Bank Building when walking out from the station’s Exit A. Also, greeting commuters are multiple skyscrapers that look impressive, modern and cold. Right in the middle of the skyscrapers is a wide square, which allows curious people-watchers and the weary working-class to sit and marvel at life.
Tan, a newspaper stall owner in his 70s said, “it is very beautiful now and the development is necessary for the growth of Singapore. It is a pity that people working here go to and from work too fast and tense up. They do not have a chance to appreciate the surrounding like me. Unlike the old days, there are not many people here on Sundays, as no one works.”
The younger generation would not have thought that in the sixties, white-picturesque one or two stories colonial buildings dominated the square. There were the first department stores in Singapore: John Little and Robinson’s that attracted a huge crowd of shoppers each weekends.
They were considered as up market and the “in” place to be seen. Following the success of these two stores, Emporium that sells more affordable goods imported from China also opened opposite.
During Christmas period, a colourful and cheery Christmas tree will be erected in the middle of the square. The same square was also where the Singapore’s first underground carpark was built in the 1960s.
Leong who is also in his 70s came today to Raffles Place for banking services at the UOB Bank. He said, “It’s very different now. This place looks so cold and enveloping. It is a shame to demolish all the old buildings, which had so much charm. There was even a fountain right where I am standing now. It was like a cozy ‘village’!”
It is quite an achievement for Singapore to develop this high-speed into a global metropolis it is now. In the process of doing so, some things are foregone and charm is lost. Some will lament that the glorious past is better, while others may think that the change is for the better. For the younger generations, we can only imagine the splendid old’ days from old pictures hanged outside the station’s gantry.
This video was filmed and edited for one of my school module. It was taken along Singapore’s Marina Bay Waterfront in March 2012. iLight was my first attempt at video-editing.
It was such great fun walking around, taking photos, shooting videos and interviewing people.
Special thanks to my lovely assistant, Florian, and my interviewees!