walking the grounds of the Paradise Ghetto

The Nazi’s called Terezin the “Paradise Ghetto” because this place was an experiment for the SS. Eventually Hitler wanted to turn this peaceful little town into a German city were people in his party could feel comfortable living outside Germany.

That is, once all the current inhabitants were exterminated. The German forces built a high fortress wall around the entire town, and used the local river to create a deep moat, with a high barbed wired fence on top of the wall.

what remains of the moat and fortress wall around Terezin today.

As I walked the town, I was chilled to the bone to see people still living where such horrible atrocities occurred. I couldn’t imagine being constantly reminded of what happened, especially when many of the people that perished were direct ancestors of those living in Terezin today.

Terezin today ( Dec 2012)

We were shown where the SS lived, more of the dormitories where hundreds of Jewish families were forced to stay, all while walking past people on the street going about their business, children heading to the city park to play on this December day.  The strength and resiliency of the Jewish people was suddenly so apparent. Their will to survive against all odds, all enemies.

We then came to a gate. I looked down and saw the beginnings of railroad tracks. As I looked up, the rest of my group was slowly walking along the tracks, some of the women sobbing. It was the rail to Auschwitz….

The stark contrast of a town during World War Two to the modern day.

Advertisements

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?