Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On this day

in 1945, British troops entered the Belsen concentration camp after negotiating a truce with the German commandant. Soldiers found piles of dead and rotting corpses and thousands of sick and starving prisoners.

I lived in Celle, about 20km from there in the 80's and visited Belsen a few times. It is an eerie place and certainly makes you reflect on what happened there. It is said that no birds next in the area and very few fly over it and I wasn't aware of of any bird noise.

As the memory fades and fewer people remember what happened first hand it is important that places like Belsen are preserved and we we are reminded of them, often. Not just because of what happened to millions of Jews, but because of how it demonstrated how easy it is for mans savagery to rise to the surface and destroy our sense of humanity.

I know there have been similar cases of genocide which don't rate anywhere near the profile of the Holocaust, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao, to name but a few, but that shouldn't stop these places and events being remembered.

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