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"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world".
Albert Einstein

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Village of a million spirits"

I'm currently reading a novel written by Ian MacMillan about Treblinka's staggering inhumanity of the death camps. Sometimes the book's graphic description can be deeply disturbing but the story itself shows the desperate fight for hope and survival. Despite the fact that MacMillans remarkable novel is fiction, the story in many ways resembles what really happened in concentration camps. I visited a few camps in Poland and have to admit that what I witnessed was extremely sad and traumatizing. The memory of the mass murder of innocent people, horror they witnessed and experience should never been forgotten.

“We are to sort the bodies as follows: fat women in one pile, thin women and children in one pile, men in one pile.” He continues speaking, but his voice is drowned out by the engine as the toothed box slams down into the pit once again. The worker waits while the box grinds shut. The closing sides sever torsos, scissor limbs off, divides the corpses of a child, and drops other body parts back into the pit as the box rises up and swings toward them. The worker waits until the box swings away once more, and goes on to explain that the fat women burn best and are used to kindle thin women and children, who in turn ignite the men. The carriers must have them sorted just so, because they will be piled on the roast with the fat women on the bottom. Body parts will be sorted in the same manner - fat leg goes with the bodies of the fat women and so on...”

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