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My trip to hell on earth Pt. 3

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posted on Oct, 9 2009 @ 12:04 PM
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Apart from a Jew married to a Christian woman all left. There is no Jewish community in Radom today.
This is what is called a destruction of Jewish communities. 25,000 Jews one day, then 300, then none.

Day 7.
We woke up and fell asleep on the bus again for another very long bus ride. Poland is huge and coming from Israel where all the distances are much smaller we were new to this.
We arrived in Tykocin, an old, small and northeastern polish town. We went into an old synagogue of the Jewish community in Tykocin (photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net...), The woman in the black coat is Elisheva, the Holocaust survivor who was still with us and guiding us the whole trip. 2,500 Jews used to pray here before the arrival of the Nazis during operation Barbarossa.
On August 16th 1941 the Nazis arrived in Tykocin. They ordered the Jewish population to leave their homes and assemble at the town square. The Jews remained homeless and terrorized in the town square until August 25th. Imagine sitting in the Polish winter when you can see your house and are forbidden to get up and walk inside.
On August 25th the Gestapo showed up in massive trucks at the town square where all the Jews were living. A selection was made, Men to the right and the rest to the left.
They had the Jews march from Tykocin to a nearby forest. I cannot find the name in English, in Hebrew it's pronounced Lopchova forest.
This is a chilling forest (photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net...), Here it is photographed on a sunny summer day (photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net...). The Jews either got driven here in the Gestapo trucks or were marched. I remember it being around 4 kilometers from the town. We got there by bus. They arrived at pre dug holes (photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net...) – soon to be mass graves (photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net...).
This is where I felt the shooting pits (photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net...) very powerfully, like in Majdanek, it was similar, but now I knew so much more after just a few days.
The pits aren't as big as you'd think you'll need when burring 2,500 people. I'm trying to remember the details right now.
There are three pits to large ones and a smaller one. Adorned today with memorial candles, flags of Israel and Mageney-David (photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net...). We stood around these pits; there was this very strange feeling, difficult to explain to whoever wasn’t there. You feel connected, yet you don't really want to be, to the people standing around you or the victims who lay at your feet. You think it can't get worse. But the victims aren’t even at our feet. The Nazi command ordered the exhumation of all the corpses from the mass grave. The bodies were to be taken somewhere else, and burned; we're no even at Treblinka yet. Just to get rid of the evidence, because the Red Army was so close. Our guide told us this, like in Majdanek the Jews were to stand in front of the pits, in rows of 20, families, probably standing side by side. There is a survivor from these pits, only because the Nazis would not spare them a "kindness shot" to put them out of their misery.A mother, standing next to her daughter above the pits, one shot per Jew. She saw that they were only firing once at each Jew, so she planned to fake her death in the pit. She described being shot at, and felt like she was on fire, but she did not die there. Her daughter, next to her, did.




posted on Oct, 9 2009 @ 12:05 PM
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I'm sorry I cannot recall the entire story in its whole. I may be sub consciously blocking the horror, it is likely.
We stood around the pits (photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net...), listening to the story. Dead silent. Then from the other group their guide started praying, that sad, song-like prayer. He started with a strong voice, very loud. He slowly became quieter as you could hear the tears in his voice as he prayed. Again, I don't expect anyone who wasn't in that exact position to understand the feeling, and as much as I think it's important I do not wish it upon anyone.
Until nightfall that evening of august 25th, every 10 minutes, with machinegun fire, in rows of 20, around 1,400 of the Jews of Tykocin were killed and buried one on top of the other. One on top of his neighbor, co-worker, classmate, cousin, brother, mother, sister, father – everyone. At night the pits were covered by local poles under the supervision of the Germans, witnesses tell of the ground moving (photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net...), and the soil red with blood.
The next day, morning – August 26th. The Nazis rounded up the rest of the Jews in Tykocin, all the Jews that did not show up the day before. Around 700 souls. They were taken to the same place, stood above the second pit and the Germans opened fire. By noon that day, the ancient Tykocin Jewish community was destroyed.
The few that ran away into the forest were caught with dogs, stood in front of the third smaller pit, and killed as well.
A miniscule amount survived the Tykocin Jewish massacre.
(photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net...)
Everyone got very emotional, many of us cried at the pits. Our guide told us of her father. He was a holocaust survivor. She never wanted to hear his stories, until he passed away. She found a cache of rare documents in his office concerning his survival, and since then she devoted herself to learn and teach about the holocaust.
We took time to ourselves, each one alone travelled between the three pits thinking. I'm sure my thoughts were similar to the rest. I was imagining the people standing in front of the pits looking at the barrel of the machinegun, some of them to young to understand what it is. Some of them to young to even see it. I was thinking of the Jews looking at the Germans, looking into their eyes and the Germans would look back, and still after seconds of eye contact the side not close to the pits would brutally execute the opposing pair of eyes.
I looked at my feet, at the entrance to the pit, the exact word I thought of is either "why" or "how" or something like that. I wanted god to take care of the souls of those who were murdered, and also to take care of the souls that murdered, are they tortured as well?
How can so much green grass and tall, thick trees grow here? The trees saw what happened, the bugs and squirrels saw what happened, I was angry at a fly for not doing anything, seriously. Why could he have flown into the machine gunner's eye? You can’t really control what you think; I am telling you what I remember.
Tykocin massacre, 2,500 Jews. A community destroyed.
Next stop, Treblinka, 870,000 Jews, 17,000 communities destroyed.
I don’t recall the trip between the Tykocin forest and Treblinka, but we arrived at 17:00, this will be relevant later.
It's been a week since I wrote the above sentence, it becomes increasingly difficult to get into the mood to write everything, to recall the feeling and the emotions, and I forget a lot of the situations or images I've seen.



posted on Oct, 9 2009 @ 12:06 PM
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We got off the bus at Treblinka, (photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net...). It is a very simple camp. It was constructed entirely out of wood, with few strong structures. There is a long trail of rocks (photos-a.ak.fbcdn.net...), to resemble the train tracks that used to lay there.
We talked about what went on in the camp. As much as it was simple and basic it was one of the worst. The gas chambers worked non stop.
There were around 20 SS officers operating in the camp and a maximum of 120 guards. The 800 temporarily alive Jews also did most of the work here. The laboring Jews were in charge of taking all the Jews coming of the train and taking them through the process until their deaths. They where whipped constantly and often killed on the spot of their error.
There was a rule in the cam about the laborers appearance. If a Jew was bruised or scarred on the face he would be shot, and if not detected immediately he would be shot the following roll call.
These crews were usually swapped every few days, the former group being killed in various ways.
We continued on a path towards the main monument (photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net...), around this monument are 17,000 stones (photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net...)– each a monument to a Jewish community exterminated in this camp. (photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net...) The camp's total death toll is around 900,000, considering its size and simplicity it is not so far behind the horrors in Auschwitz – Birkenau. (photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net...).
The Treblinka train station was very detailed, in order to keep the shipments of Jews arriving in denial until the very last seond of their deaths. It was furnished as a train station with a ticket stand and clock, baggage claim and lost and found.
Once we got to the large monument our guide asked us what time it was. It was 17:30. She explained the following chilling fact.
A shipment of a 2,000 Jews arriving at 17:00 would already be stripped, killed and burned by 17:30.
The large monument is mainly for the Warsaw ghetto, 330,000 Jews from Warsaw were shipped to Treblinka during the period from July 22 to October 3, 1942.
More numbers, at the peak of its operation, the Treblinka incinerator burned in one day 17,600 Jews. In just one day, dawn to dusk.
There was an uprising in Treblinka during August 1943, the work detail took small arms and killed some SS officers, and torched buildings. Of the 1,500 prisoners the rebelled 600 escaped the camp, and none but 40 are known to have survived the war. It is said the revolt also inspired the uprising in the Sobibor death camp, I was not there, and I have not heard many details about the revolt. There is a movie that I recommend called "the escape from Sobibor", it shows the events pretty factually.
One of the stones (photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net...) reads "No more".
Since I'm writing this so long after I came back I really can't remember the complete situation in Treblinka, I do remember it was really bad.
We held a ceremony at the foot of the monument, some the people presenting the ceremony cried in front of us, and we all felt the same (photos-d.ak.fbcdn.net...). A few days earlier we received letters from home.



posted on Oct, 10 2009 @ 01:15 AM
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Prior to the rise of Adolph Hitler the Jewish population of Europe was a thriving community that contributed broadly in the respective countries that they lived in. They were valued citizens. Then along comes Hitler and his henchmen that practiced a sort of evil that is rarely seen in this world (even though it is becoming more common place...i.e. Rwanda). People were made to believe that these groups of people (Jews in particular) were the cause of all of their problems. This lead to genocide that is monumental and a crime against every human who has ever lived upon the earth. This essay helps illustrate how it still impacts people's lives even today. It give a personal view of a tragedy that should have never happened. But a tragedy that did happen but some good did come of it....the State of Israel! Those who died were heroes and martyrs for their country.



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