My journey into the surreal and absurd continues as I arrive to Weimar, a town synonymous with the German Republic of the interregnum between World War I and World War II.
Weimar, the home to Goethe, Schiller, Nietzsche, Bach, Lizst, Strauss, Klee and Kandisky, was one of the great centers of the German Enlightenment and wellsprings of German art and culture.
It was also the place where the post-World War I German government drafted its thorough and comprehensive liberal constitution—perhaps the most progressive and inclusive of its age.
The Weimar Constitution had a complex system of checks and balances to keep power from being amassed too centrally in parts of governments or regions.
But the Weimar Republic was brought down because non-democratic forces took part in the democratic process, and used that democratic process to crumble the state from within.
In a cruel symbol of the history that followed, sitting counterpoint to the city's role as the hope for a liberal Germany, just outside Weimar is the concentration camp Buchenwald.