I took the picture above this morning at about 11:00 am . It is a rail track just around the corner of my home. When I looked at that rail track this morning several thoughts came to mind.
Firstly I thought how the railways made such a big change in the lives of ordinary citizens. It connected cities and also countries. People were no longer bound by the location they were born in. To this day it still fuels the imagination of children. Shows like Thomas the Tank engine are immensely popular as are the books. Even my own children when they were growing up loved to read those books and watch the show. My oldest son first learned to read from a book entitled “My first book of trains”
My second thought when I looked at the tracks and at the picture after I took it,was that it looked like a picture of a rail track to any of the concentration camps, be it Auschwitz,Treblinka, Bergen Belsen. It occurred to me that the Holocaust really could have happened any period in history. The picture could have easily been taken in 1942.
I also realized that for the survivors and their children and grandchildren the Holocaust is still a daily reality. For those who survived they still relive that train journey every day.
The one thing that was built to connect people was used to facilitate the mass murder of millions. 1.5 million of which were children. Children who would have been in awe of the technology,
Train journeys were supposed to be pleasant but there was nothing pleasant about their journeys.Often a hundred or more people would be cramped in a cattle car with no windows , no sanitary facilities, nowhere to sit and many would not even survive the journey.
Below is a picture of some children who survived. Who they are I don’t know. All I know is that they were liberated from the Bergen Belsen concentration camp in April 1945.
They were some of the lucky ones, but I say lucky reluctantly because even though they survived their nightmare still went on in their minds for years to come,sometimes coupled with the insult by those who claimed the Holocaust never happened. The Holocaust would forever be a part of their lives.
1.5 Million were killed,although I do believe that number is higher.
Here are just some of their names
Harry Knöpfelmacher Murdered age 9
Hedwig Zander Murdered age 12
Frederika Borstrock Murdered age 4
Ester Kwint Murdered age 12 or 13
Peter Czeisler Murdered age 2
The scary thing is that it appears we haven’t learned from our mistakes and the one thing I fear most is that a Holocaust is very likely to happen again and it could happen to any group of people.
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