On this day, in 1945 saw the liberation of The Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp. Today, we use this date as a way of commemorating the thousands of families and individuals who suffered during this period of our World history.
Earlier this week, a friend emailed me a few pictures and said that she had gone home, back to Poland and visited the museum, which now located at the camp. Those pictures showed the queue of visitors awaiting access to the museum all standing wrapped up and warmish whilst the snow fell.
Despite being Polish, my friend had never visited the museum. Each year her family send a representative to pay tribute to their family members who entered the various camps. Many never returned. This year my friend was asked if she would make the journey from England to Poland to see her family and make the annual pilgrimage. She agreed.
The photos and emails she has shared with me have been a treasure and pleasure for me to read, despite her and her families obvious upset of the events of the past. Her last sentence read “You’re an historian, you’ll understand all of this” Actually I am an historian and genealogist; despite this I do not have any personal family knowledge of these situations. Do I understand? I understand her family need that someone attends yearly to show their continual respect. Continuing a link with the past. What I do not understand is that over 60 years later the world has learnt very little from those terrible events.
I wrote back and said the same, and asked that had she considered how she would share her family events to her children when the time was right? What followed was a series of emails and the title of books, the most well know of which was The Diary of Anne Frank.
The image here is from AuthorAttic, and the cover compels me to have another read of this book. My own copy is a hardback fairly non-descript version that I have owned for over 25 years, and was purchased following a school trip to The Netherlands where I visited the home of Anne Frank
These emails coincided with the launch of an iPad app which is based upon The Dairy of Anne Frank. You can watch a trailer of the app HERE. The trailer promises an amazing application and from the feedback I have seen via the app’s review page and from a friend who downloaded it, they concur with my initial thoughts. You can read the article from The Daily Telegraph HERE
My review of Mosaic -one family's story of the Holocaust is here http://bewitchedbybooks.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/mosaic-by-diane-armstrong/
You'll be interested in my next book post Julie…had I realised the date I'd have put it up yesterday. It's incredible that the world seems to deny these horrors existed. It's equally incredible that human beings can treat other humans this way….I just don't “get” it. And yet it goes on and on and on.
I feel for your friend and her surviving family -the family history legacy of these tragedies is not one any of us would want.
I find the same thing very depressing – that the world just seems to go on and on and on with horrors for each generation, perhaps in different parts of the world.