Here's my travels from last week. I'm still compiling pictures from this week, but they will also appear about a week late I think. I've been having a fabulous time reconnecting with friends and beautiful places in the Czech Republic. You will see in the pictures some of my interesting experiences at Terezin, which served as a prison for many different oppressive rulers but most famously as Hitler's "gift" to the Jews.
The Nazis used this town as a sort of propaganda to say that the concentration camps were more of a way of consolidating the Jews in one place. They encouraged musicians and artists to continue their arts and they even allowed them to observe rituals for those who died. One the one hand, this was done to convince the Red Cross that the Nazis had a respect for Jewish culture. On the other hand it served to calm the fears of those in the camp that would report for transfers to other places like Auschwitz. I can't decide if it is more dehumanizing to treat someone like dirt and deny them of their culture and health necessities or to convince them that you have respect for their culture and humanity while also treating them like dirt and forcing them to pay to sleep with the sick and the dead, among other horrifying things.
All I know is that among the art, poems and music that survived, I saw a kind of hope which was profound. It was built on perseverance and faith, as those who were scheduled to die survived, and those who misled were revealed as fools. It was not the most joyful of a start to my trip down memory lane, but my road has widened. I discovered a group in Prague called Živá knihovna, where they share the stories of some special people as if each person is a Living Library. As my library grows, the more space I find for new growth. So, I continue on in my journey, sharing in the knowledge of the people I meet on the way.