Sunday, 18 March 2012

Respect.

Today we saw the ashes of thousands of murdered people.


The ashes of Hitler's victims with a view of the Crematorium where they were burnt

Majdanek is a strange place, it is literally next door to housing estates and a main road. The Nazis did not feel the need to cover their tracks here. As it is right in the middle of a residential area people use Majdanek, a former death camp, as a place to take a Sunday stroll. We saw families cycling through it, couples on dates, friends catching up with coffee and even the parking man (we don't know what his official job title is) was listening to some very loud rap music. It seemed as if there was no respect and no recognition to the sanctity of the place.


The memorial gates of Majdanek death camp, viewed from the road

Baracks of Majdanek with people's homes right behind it 

The view of the gates of Majdanek from the road 

We know that life has to go on and we know that people have to carry on with living but it seems a little inappropriate to do so at a place where thousands of innocent men, women and children were murdered. It made us more than a little angry. We saw families touring the site along with their small children and while we agree that education has to start at an early age, it seems counterproductive to bring children in buggies to a death camp.  They probably won't learn much but they almost certainly will become desensitised to the whole thing.  


The barbed wire fences and watch tower of Majdanek right in middle of the town of Lublin 

A toy from a child's kinder egg discarded outside the crematorium, where children were burnt

As we said at the beginning of this post, we stood next to the ashes of Hitler's murdered victims today and we felt so guilty that we would eventually leave them. We didn't see ashes, we saw children, families, friends, lovers all heaped together in a cold, soulless mound. It broke our hearts that no one comforted them in their moments of death and it made everything we are doing feel so empty. We can't change how they died and it seemed so terrible that we would leave them alone without any love or compassion. We are not sure if that makes sense but it was how we felt.


Interior of the gas chamber, still stained blue, by the Zyklon B gas used  to murder thousands of  innocent people

Exterior of the Majdanek crematorium, where Hiter's victims were burnt

Majdanek's ovens

Today was about respect, paying it to the victims, and the lack of it from some of the citizens of Lublin. We know that the only way we can truly pay our respects to these poor people is by ensuring that prejudice is stopped and that no innocent people ever suffer (in ANY way) ever again. 

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