Recently I was in the Czech Republic at Terezin. This was used as a ghetto and transit camp by the Nazis from the outset of the war. There are two forts there built under previous eras or empires. The smaller fort was used as a base for Gestapo prisoners or political prisoners. They were tortured and executed there. Below is some information about the town. The small fort is remarkable for the extent that is there so much left intact and all the more chilling for that.
The persistence of the dangers of strident nationalism and racism remain as strong if not stronger. Like Norway I hope and expect an independent Scotland to take its belief in social justice and enlightened views on to a world stage where it will speak up accordingly.
The museum in the town itself holds large collections of writing and art from children and adults who lived, died or were sent to their deaths.
The quality of the art and writing was very good. The book at the top was by one of the writers featured who has a poem in that exhibition. I translate the translation below. He was one of the very few to survive. Below is from a page celebrating respect of tolerance:
‘Born in Usov in 1914, this poet and prose writer was one of the few Usov Jews who survived imprisonment in a concentration camp. Polak wrote his humanistic and anti nationalistic works in German. The most famous of his works is a compilation of over 200 poems entitled, “Die Stadt der schwarzen Tore” (The Town of Black Towers), from the period 1938-1947.’
(The above and below were taken from the town’s website: http://www.terezin.cz/en/; the small
Café: Furstenberg Garden Kavarna was very friendly and gave us a great traditional meal.)
The Imperial Settlement Patent of December 9, 1782 proclaimed Terezín a free royal town, but while never in a state of siege, the town was in fact subordinated to military needs. In 1888 its fortress statute was repealed.
Nazi occupation. Terezín´s most tragic chapter came during WW2 (1939-45). In 1940 Prague’s Gestapo installed in Minor Fortress police prison. About 32.000 prisoners passed through the Minor Fortress between 1940 and 1945 of whom 2.500 were killed by hunger, disease, tyrannical guards and executions.
In 1941 the town of Terezin was changed by the Nazis to Jewish ghetto-transit camp. Until the end of the War more than 150.000 deportees passed through the camp, 35.000 of which died there.
Is the name of Fear.
Thon is the name o Dreid
Is No Word..
Is nae wird
Death in the East.
Awa tae deaith in the East
Man goes on without Hope.
Fowk gangs on withoot ony Hope
Transport, Transport, Transport
Cairit aff, Cairit aff, Cairit aff.