Blogs @ Emporia State University

Day 4

May 23, 2013

Tags: global leadership

By Mary and Jessica

Ghetto Museum

Today we went to the ghetto museum, saw the reconstruction of the ghetto rooms, Terezin cremation building and the Jewish cemetery where 9,000 Jews were buried. Our last stop was the small fortress. At the ghetto museum was watched a Nazi propaganda video where they made it seem like going to the concentration camps was like going on a vacation, which was deceiving and immoral. We then walked around the museum and saw pictures, evidence and what daily life was like in the concentration camps, which was mind blowing that they went through everything that they went through. We got on the bus and then went to the Terezin cremation and saw the Jewish cemetery. Walking up to the cementery was unreal becuase we could see it from so far away and when we got closer it was unbelieveable that 9,000 Jews were buried there. In the cremation building we were able to see were they preformed autopsys were done. They preformed autopsys on everyone to see if there were different illness or diseases that they did not already know about. Since people were living in such unclean and dangerous conditions diseases were easily spread. The cremation furnaces were not moved from their original position so we coulod visualize people going into them, which was a scary thought. On the way to the small fortress we saw the National cemetary for everyone that died in during the Holocaust. There was a Jewish section and a Christian section. What stuck out to us in both sections was the Jewish tradition of placing stones on top of the headstone of a family member. They did this becuase they believed that the stones take eternity to turn into dust, therefore their family members will be there for eternuity with their deceased loved one. In the small fortress we walked under the arch that said Arbeit Macht Frei, which means work to be free.  Walking through this had a huge impact on us because we understood that almost every person that went under this never came out.  We then saw one of the 17 mass cells where 40 people stayed, later one in the war upto 100 people lived  in each room. Having 40 men in a room woulod be unbelievable, but to have 100 would obviously be like unbareable. They only had 1 table to sit on and 1 toilet to share between everyone. We also went into a few other mass cells that had an overwhelming amount of people in it. We then saw a tiny white room where 60 Jews were forced to live, with 1 toilet to go to the bathroom in that only was changed once a week. They had a tiny window to look out into the hallway, but no window to look out to the outside world. This was just astoning that this many people would live in that tiny room that is 1/3 of the size of my personal room, that only I live in. Next we saw 2 mortuaries where they stored the bodies until a truck came once every 2 weeks to get and take them to the Terezin crematory. We pictured how awful the smell would be to endure when touching the bodies to transport, who would want that job? We walked through a very long, dark underground tunnel that the Nazi's closed during WWII because prisioners tried to escape. We were able to walk through the tunnel ande came out on the side where the Nazi's and their family stayed. They had a nice pool to enjoy, a cinema to watch movies and relax as well as very nice living quarters. There is not way to compare what nice living conditions they had compared to the prisioners.

Ghetto MuseumAfter this experience we reflected about ourlives and how well we have our life today and could not imagine the mental and physical torture that the Jews went through. We realized how lucky we were to be be living in the safe environment that we have today.

We were able to put ourselves in the shoes of the prisioners because we saw their living conditions and they lack of quality of life. To have to disrespect for human being that are being punished for no reason at all is just astonshing. This will show me not not complain about the things I am lucky enough to have and not camplain about bad situations.

Have a great summer,

Mary and Jessica!

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