One of the things I enjoyed most about our trip was finding out about the different history of places. Places where as soon as you visited you could feel the history inside of the, the emotions good and bad, the walls whispering their secrets that still went untold.
Up until I was sitting down really writing this post I debated whether or not I should. There was the question of appropriateness. As well as the emotion and the history involved involved in these two places. And although they were some of my favourite places to visit, they left me feeling like I needed a hug from my mum.
Just over an hour from Prague by train. What started off as a military fortress, this concentration camp and Jewish Ghetto was used in a Propaganda Film, and to show the Red Cross, the “Model Jewish Settlements” that they were providing for the Jewish people sent to camps. What it really was, was as many Jews crammed into a room as possible, taps that were never connected to any pipes, and in the end, a transit before being sent off to an extermination camp.
The site is split into two locations.The Small Fortress, which was home to the military camp (one of it’s most famous prisoners being Gavrilo Princip, responsible for the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and sparking the beginnings of World War One.
The other location, The Main Fortress, which is a short walk away, was the site of the Jewish Ghetto.
One of the most poignant moments in visiting Terezin by train is that on one of the platforms stands a statue of Nicholas Winton and two small children. This was where many Jewish children were saved from Terezin by being sent over to England and taken in by families thanks to the work of Nicholas Winton.
While in Krakow we decided to do a tour to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Even before arriving you knew that it was going to be an emotional rollercoaster. I’m not going to post much about it but this is a place that changed the lives of so many people.
I will say this, I do think that it is incredible that these places open. I mean it in a good way. Something that a country could be ashamed of and try to destroy, these places are kept and used to teach and show future generations a past that should never happen again.