I thought it might be apropos to follow up my most recent interview of Judy Shepard with photos and comments from my visit and tour of Theresienstadt, a site of another horrific hate crime of huge proportion known as the Holocaust. This ‘model’ ghetto, as it was known during World War II, is in the town of Terezin about an hour outside of Prague.
I have always wanted to visit the concentration camps in Poland, as I strongly believe that everyone, all mankind, ‘should’ be witness to the atrocities perpetrated upon groups of people that others, in this case the Nazis, felt to be unfit and unworthy to live. Seeing the historical remnants might be more apt to ruffle our feathers and wake up some of our apathy towards the plight of other unfortunate souls. One or two or three groups of people may be the target and scapegoat, but hate crimes are in their purest essence attacks on us all. For we are the breed of Humans here to safeguard and protect our species no matter what our different externals portray – color, worshipping practices, abilities- and no matter what our differences of opinions are.
Environmentalists work to protect our environment from harm; we all must work to protect our people from harm and extinction.
When we decided to go to Prague for a few days en route to Israel, a Terezin tour became a ‘must’. I cannot put an adjective in to describe how it was. So when people ask me, I can’t quite sum it up. I have to talk about some specifics which I will portray with photos below.
Theresienstadt was known for its famous prisoners, many of whom were artists of all kinds, and for its visits by the Red Cross. Within this ‘model’ camp was a real concentration camp where 60,000 people were forced into an area which originally held only 7,000 residents. They were tortured by virtue of their unlivable conditions and died of ‘natural’ causes – starvation, disease, contamination. Those who escaped death here were transported to Auschwitz – the real ‘death’ camp where people were gassed to death.
ell room which held 60 people
Air vent for room above
Sinks put in for Red Cross visit; later taken out.
One of 4 ovens in crematorium
Fake’ graves; bodies were burned. Broken tree in background represents broken lives.
Remains of railroad tracks for transports to Auschwitz.
About 4,000 people now live in the town of Terezin. Barracks where the Jews were kept are now renovated houses. The crematorium provides salaried jobs for a few people who man it and sell memorial candles.
We humans were given free choice. Let us use it to benefit our species and keep us all standing proud and upright. Let us pray that goodness prevails over evil for all.
Thank you for stopping by and reading this post. I hope you’ve taken something positive away.