Samstag, März 27, 2010

Der zweite Tag / The second day

Zweiter Tag (23.3.2010)

(for english version scroll down)

Am zweiten Tag haben wir uns mit dem zweiten Weltkrieges und auch mit den Wegen der Häftlinge ins Lager Bergen-Belsen näher beschäftigt.
Nach dem Frühstück haben wir uns alle im großen Seminarraum, in dem uns die Entwicklung des zweiten Weltkrieges anhand einer Präsentation gezeigt wurde, getroffen. Diese war visuell sehr ansprechend, da wir auf einer Karte genau verfolgen konnten, welche Länder von Hitler und der Wehrmacht vom Anfang des Krieges bis hin zur Befreiung eingenommen waren. Es war eine gute Idee, uns daran zu erinnern, wie ausgeweitet der Krieg über ganz Europa, die Sowjetunion und Nordafrika gewesen ist und wie die Menschen gegen die Besatzer gekämpft haben.

Danach wurden wir in kleinere Guppen eingeteilt und haben uns verschiedene Zeichnungen von Häftlingen aus Bergen-Belsen angeschaut, welche alle mit dem Thema Deportation und Wege ins Lager zusammenhingen. Wir konnten spüren, wie viel Angst die Menschen in gehabt haben müssen, wie sie vor Hunger, Durst und Enge gelitten haben.

Sie wussten nicht, wohin sie gebracht werden und was dort mit ihnen passieren würde. Einige von diesen Menschen kamen aus anderen Konzentrationslagern, andere von ihnen waren Kriegsgefangene.
Es war für uns sehr interessant sich über unsere Gedanken zu den Bildern und zum Holocaust auszutauschen.
Nach dem Mittagessen haben wir die Rampe besucht, welches der Ort ist, an dem die Transporte ankamen.
Als erstes sahen wir einen Waggon, der denen ähnelte, mit welchen die Häftlinge in großer Menge in die Konzentrationslager transportiert wurden.
Als wir diesen betreten haben, konnten wir uns nicht vorstellen, wie auf so engem Raum so viele Menschen für eine so lange Zeit bleiben mussten, ohne dass sie den Waggon verlassen durften. Es war auch nicht gestattet auf die Toilette zu gehen. Nach der langen beschwerlichen Fahrt wussten die Menschen nicht, wo sie waren und mussten dazu noch den langen Weg bis ins Lager zu Fuß zurücklegen. Einige von ihnen  waren verletzt und sehr erschöpft, sodass viele den Weg nicht geschafft haben und verstorben sind.

Second day (23th March)
The second day of the workcamp was the first devoted to the World War II and to the way how people were delivered to Bergen-Belsen by trains. After breakfast we met in the hall for the presentation about the World War II. It was very visual because we could look at the map and follow the way how the countries were conquered by Hitler and his troops from the very beginning to the liberation. It was a good idea to remind everybody how the war spreaded all over Europe, the Soviet Union and North Africa and how people fought against the invaders. Then we  where divided into small groups and discussed different drawings which were made by the prisoners of Bergen-Belsen. All of them were connected with how people got to the concentration camp. We could feel how scared they were, how they suffered heading and what would happen with them afterwards. Some of them were from other concentration camps, the others were prisoners of war. It was very interesting for us to talk about what we all think of it and what we know about concentration camps and the Holocaust.

After lunch we had our first excursion to the place next to the memorial – to the Ramp. First we saw a wagon which is like those wagons that carried huge amounts of people to the concentration camp. When we entered we couldn’t imagine how so many people could stay in such little space for a long time, without windows and not able to go out even if they wanted to go to the toilet. After the long journey they found themselves in the place they didn’t know and had to go to the camp by foot. Some of them were wounded and exhausted so they were not able to walk and just fell down and died on the way.
Others were shot by the nazis guards. And the most impressive and sad story was about the so-called “Rabbit chase”. Some days before the liberation the british troops attacked the trains and a lot of prisoners died.

Some of them escaped and were trying to hide in Celle and the nearby forest. But citizens of Celle didn’t help them but began to chase them and shoot at them, helping SA-troops without a direct order. It’s nearly impossible to understand how it could  happen.
Then we walked the Path of Rememberance (the Path from the Ramp to the former entrance of the camp) which was quiet long and along the way we could see a white line and some quotations about the camp on the ground. We were a bit tired and hungry after this and came back for the supper.
In the evening we had a very exciting presentation of all countries. It was really funny. For example, we got to know that Lithuania has the shape of a heart and some games and dances of all countries.
The conclusion of the day was very calm and sad. We were sitting in a circle with closed eyes and we got some things and tried to recognize them. It was a real shock when we were told that these things belonged to the prisoners of Bergen-Belsen and were very important for them. There were a boot, a spoon, a cattle and a little bottle that belonged to some prisoners and a key that might belonged to the guard.
Anyway, the evening continued in the nightcafe with loud music and dancing and everybody discussed the impressions of the day.