Like Nana’s Range (might be distressing)

11 Jun

Crematoria

As Husb and I walked around the Saschenhausen Concentration Camp in Berlin last week (on a Sandemans Guided Tour) I sketched what I could on the move. It made it easier in some ways because I could detach myself slightly from my surroundings. A lot of the camp was destroyed by the Soviets after they took control of East Germany, but some parts remained, although badly damaged, like the crematoria that were used to destroy the bodies of the tens of thousands of people who were murdered here. Their bodies were originally shipped out in trucks to crematoria in the city, but one truck overturned and spilled bodies across a street so these crematoria were built so that the citizens of Berlin wouldn’t have to see such a distressful sight again.

All that’s left are a few small brick walls, the black metal ‘ovens’ and the metal girders that supported the brick structure. This was the point where I broke down. The ‘ovens’ look for all the world like the black iron range in my Nana’s kitchen when I was a child; happy memories of her kettle always bubbling away and goodies coming out of the little oven. Horror can look so ordinary and benign!

My parent’s generation lived through the war, many died on all sides. It is our duty to them to make sure it doesn’t happen again. These vile attitudes are on the rise once more in Europe. We have to stop them, we have to safeguard the future.

 

 

9 Responses to “Like Nana’s Range (might be distressing)”

  1. rugbyarts June 12, 2017 at 10:58 #

    Not just Europe Rosie

    “modern art for interiors” allanstorermodernart.com

    >

  2. walfischbucht June 12, 2017 at 08:27 #

    Strong visual impression. – Well, remembering a visit to the sites of Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau during a trip to Poland with my history-class in the last year of school (so many years ago…) I think I can imagine how you felt. – Even if one tried to observe all that with an inner distance this threshold broke down in front of the displays of heaps of suitcases, glases and, most horrific, shaven hair. Just writing this makes me shiver again now. – Letting gaps break up within and between societies has not been an answer to problems and will not be in the future.

  3. Leonie Andrews June 12, 2017 at 02:09 #

    Sending a big hugs from ‘down under’. I experienced similar emotions in Nagasaki at their atomc bomb museum. The irony is that the atomic bomb that exploded in Nagasaki detonated directly above the largest Christian church in Asia (at the time ).

    • Rosie Scribblah June 12, 2017 at 04:12 #

      Oh the horror! It’s hard to confront these things but we should never forget.

      • Leonie Andrews June 12, 2017 at 13:10 #

        Yes indeed. Forgetting is the greater evil.

  4. Procrastinator's Day Off June 12, 2017 at 01:13 #

    Horrific. It’s hard to believe human beings can do such things. I read Maus recently and there was a plan of the gas chambers used in Auschwitz. The thing that most struck me as bizarre was that there were toilets in there. An architect had designed a mass death chamber with toilets…

    • Rosie Scribblah June 12, 2017 at 04:10 #

      It’s those little touches of ordinariness that make it so chilling.

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