Here is how you know that you have a good friend: they take time from their vacation to visit a place for you! This is what happened yesterday. My friend 'D' is in Poland with her family. Turns out they were going to be only a few miles from a major place that I have researched and written about the last few years; the Bedzin Ghetto.
I knew there have been memorials marking places in my research. I also was aware that a newer memorial was constructed in the last decade to honor the ghetto as a whole and the travesty that occurred there. I had hoped to visit someday but in my heart, I know the odds of doing so are growing longer. Still, the place holds special meaning to me so I asked my friend, if they had time, would they stop and place a flower.
These are pictures from their visit. My friend said that to reach the memorial they traveled through some sketchy neighborhoods but that once there, it was well worth the effort. Tens of thousands of people were deported to camps from Bedzin. Many of the Jewish underground fighters were from this region. In fact, the memorial also marks where resistance fighters fought the Nazis in the first week of August, 1943. Like those in the Warsaw Ghetto, the resistance fighters were vanquished but after the war, they inspired hundreds, maybe thousands, to migrate on to Palestine under migration banners that carried their names.
I could recite to you dozens of stories of those who didn't survive Bedzin. Even a couple who did manage to outlast the Nazis. In this day when Fascism is once again wrecking havoc, it is pertinent to recall those brave women and men of Bedzin. I should mention that young people were a core element of resistance. Without these teens and the generation just before them, there may not have been a viable resistance.
The memorial is unique. I like how they have a train track leading to it. The box car on the backside is a statement. Kudos to the city of Bedzin for keeping the memorial up and the area around it neat. It is at the heart of where the ghetto stood and the motif is a solemn tribute.
Thanks to my friend and her family for this meaningful gesture. I now share with you pictures and video from their visit.