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75 Years Ago

(42 Posts)
Rufus2 Sun 17-Nov-19 10:55:12

Feeling weary and ill at ease. Have just watched a prog. on our SBS(Multicultural) TV channel called "Hitler's Holocaust Railways" narrated by Chris Tarrant. It's probably been on TV before, but this was my first sighting and I found it so horrifying that I was almost in tears, even after all these years, being reminded of how the poor souls were shepherded into groups of toddlers (too young to work, therefore to die),; able bodied men and women, to be workers in concentration camps; ill and elderly to die. Interviews with a few survivors only reinforced the horror of it all. I'm not ashamed to admit I was almost in tears by the end and wondering how things might have been in Britain if the Germans had succeeded in crossing the Channel. They would have had no reason to act differently. When the first films were shown after the camps were liberated we were promised that they would be shown repeatedly for ever more and I'm thankful that SBS, which has strong leanings towards European matters appears to be honouring that promise.
Another Hitler prog. is due on SBS later this evening; "Inside Hitler's GI Death Camp" about 390 GI PoWs sent to a concentration camp in Berga, Germany. I've never heard of that before!
I appreciate this is (mostly) before your time and I apologise for unburdening it, but I"m still disturbed by it all.

Gonegirl Sun 17-Nov-19 10:59:59

Yes. It was all unbelievably horrible. Can't believe it happened in my lifetime. When I was three other little three year olds were being taken to the death camps.

Thank God that time has gone, and pray God it never returns.

eazybee Sun 17-Nov-19 11:01:44

Yes, I agree with you; it is right that these atrocities should not be forgotten.

Fennel Sun 17-Nov-19 12:26:26

Rufus - I'm the same. I was born in 1936 so have memories of wartime. As you say, our future in the UK could have been so different if Hitler hadn't changed his mind at the last moment. Then poor Russia suffered.
As for the Jewish Holocaust, how can anyone deny it happened when there's so much documentary evidence?
Your country also fought and had many losses. With New Zealand. You should be proud.
I've done a lot of reading around the subject and wish I could have more influence on later generations, many of whom have no idea.

Urmstongran Sun 17-Nov-19 12:29:10

I could cry just thinking about it. The awful wrenching of those poor babies from their mummies.

Our baby granddaughter will be 3y in a few weeks. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

BlueBelle Sun 17-Nov-19 12:43:54

Rufus it makes me cry too and the worst thing is no one learns it is on the verge of happening all over again and in some parts of the world genocide has happened since 1945 but we don’t hear much about it if it doesn’t involve us
Why can’t we all accept others whether they look, think or are like or unlike us I can never understand those who can’t accept differences and those who can’t share
I don’t believe really in heaven or hell so there is no comfort in thinking they are in ever lasting flames or anything else

I think you are right to bring it up we all need to think about it more than we do it should be taught in every school in the world

Rufus2 Sun 17-Nov-19 12:46:02

Good Evening again; Well, what an evening, Just finished another 1 hour SBS prog. similar to the previous one except that this one concerned GI PoWs and Hungarian Jews, sharing the same fate. All being forced to work building an underground factory and literally starved to death with no medical attention.
It repeated previous accounts of how the local German population knew what was going on in these concentration camps and were shown spitting on the GIs as they were marched through the town.

threexnanny Sun 17-Nov-19 13:04:44

Horrible indeed, but one of my uncle's was a POW with the Japanese so it wasn't just the Germans. In fact it was the British who first made concentration camps so we can't feel virtuous either!

M0nica Sun 17-Nov-19 13:06:58

I was born in 1943, but I can remember the Nuremburg Trials and the many books that came out in the early 50s narrating the horrors.

If ever there was a good reason for supporting staying in the EU, it is the peace and safety that this political alliance has brought Western Europe and is now extending over the whol continent.

EllanVannin Sun 17-Nov-19 13:15:56

I agree with you Monica.

annodomini Sun 17-Nov-19 13:21:20

And yet - reputedly - it is our generation who can remember the war and should appreciate the decades of peace in Europe, who have contributed to the small majority who voted for the folly of Brexit.

threexnanny Sun 17-Nov-19 13:25:23

I agree with MONICA too. It was the main reason I voted to into the EU all those years ago and a good reason for staying now.

Evie64 Sun 17-Nov-19 13:25:58

Many years ago I used to work with a lady who was from Belgium. She was part of the underground during the war and helped to get many stranded airman to safety. She once told me that when the SS came to her small town, they were removing a Jewish family out of their 4th storey apartment next to her house. She said they threw the family's belongings into the street and then threw the 9 month old baby out of the 4th story window. If that wasn't shocking enough, they placed a Nazi guard on the body which was made to lay there for a week before they removed it as a "lesson" to anyone thinking of helping their Jewish neighbours. Still makes me cry just thinking about it. I think that was the most shocking true account war story I ever heard, and I've heard a few.

Urmstongran Sun 17-Nov-19 13:34:36

oh Not Brexit again!!

M0nica Sun 17-Nov-19 13:34:54

annodomino. It is not those who remember the war who voted leave, in fact they are more likely to vote remain for the reasons I gave.

So over 80s+/- are more likely to have voted remain. So the death of older voters is mainly the deaths of people likely to have voted Remain. The leave vote is concentrated in the 60-75 age group. Most of them will have a good 10 years or more of life left in them.

Urmstongran Sun 17-Nov-19 13:35:52

A Heartbreaking account Evie64

Urmstongran Sun 17-Nov-19 13:39:13

I’m sure I recall experiments where Jewish people were lined up one behind the other and the first in line shot to see how many people the bullet could pass through.

And Mengeles with his his ‘medical studies’ that I just can’t bring myself to repeat.

Amagran Sun 17-Nov-19 14:10:01

I have visited Auschwitz, Birkenau and Majdanek in Poland. I cannot describe what it feels like to be in those places. The exhibitions movingly and graphically portray the horrors which took place, but even more deeply affecting, is the unthinkable inhumanity, pain and suffering which is almost palpable as you walk round the landscape.

Let us be united in Europe against this ever happening again.

In the lifetime of many of us here, ordinary people with mothers, fathers, children, were somehow brought down to participating in these atrocities.

Fennel Sun 17-Nov-19 14:14:39

M0nica is right about the link with leaving Europe. Memories of what happened in WW2 was the main reason for the EU being set up.
Some of the stories are so horrific, maybe that's why many people don't want to know.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 17-Nov-19 14:14:43

What I find very difficult to understand is how the German people seemed if not complicit at least to turn a blind eye.

To this end I am reading “Alone in Berlin” at the moment written by Hans Fallada.

Not an easy read and hardly conducive to the upcoming season, but the writing is excellent and vividly descriptive of life in Berlin’s apartment blocks under the Third Reich.

I love Berlin, but I can see in my minds eye as I read this book how it must have been during that period for the ordinary German.

Highly recommended if you don’t mind depressing reality, so very well written.

travelsafar Sun 17-Nov-19 14:32:32

I have watched several films about this subject and my husband can not understand why i do as they always upset me. But as i explained to him, we must never forget how these poor people suffered and how lucky we are.
Also hopefully younger people will make sure it never happens in the future. That of course is is they are taught about it in school or watch films and documentries on the subject, which somehow i do doubt. sad

TwiceAsNice Sun 17-Nov-19 14:42:37

I too feel real horror and sadness over what happened although I was born after the war. Only fiction but I remember watching Sophie’s Choice years ago and I felt traumatised. I can still see that mother forced to make a choice between which child she saved or both would die. She felt hat choosing one child would have a slim chance of life. Can’t bear what she must have gone through

Amagran Sun 17-Nov-19 15:35:49

Yes, TwiceAsNice, I too was deeply affected by that film. My own children, a boy and a girl, were a similar age to those in the film. I was numb and traumatise for a week after and yes, I too can still see the unthinkable agony so effectively conveyed by Meryl Streep.

BlueBelle Sun 17-Nov-19 15:49:46

I don’t think it’s at all hard to see how the German people got carried along on a wave of patriotism it is the same adoration of xenophobia that Trump, Farage, and Tommy Robinson fans exhibit
When Brexit first started out Three years ago a shop not far from my town and happily run by an Eastern European for years was targeted it was thrashed, windows broken, goods stolen thrown and smashed, slogans of Go home xxxxx etc painted on the walls who could imagine that would happen in U.K. in 2013 but they were revved up by false news and xenophobia it’s not hard to see how it could happen again
it terrifies me and one of the main reasons I want to stay with the EU

Urmstongran Sun 17-Nov-19 16:04:01

Oh gawd.