|A Jewish Childhood – “Never Forget” The Deportation Memorial, Paris, France|
|Saturday, 22 June 2013 08:25|
Today after 5 years of coming to see this memorial again, it has been closed. No notations or explanations as to why it was chained up. But today, a beautiful, glorious day I decide to drop by Shakespeare and Company to find out if they have any of my memoirs left. The answer is that no, they are sold out, so I will check to see if they want more.
Then I go up the street, cross over and walk down the side of Notre Dame, across the street with the bridge that has thousands of locks with names on them, declaring true love, walk past that, the sax player who plays melancholy jazz and into the park with the memorial. It is open. The guard allows only a few people at a time as it is a small intimate place, once you go down the steep stairs. I was told when I first came here in 1984 that there are bone fragments in the walls and stairs taken from the camps.
I have been here twice before this being my third time and each visit, I am so moved to tears.
The concentration camps open in 1933, and 160,000 were arrested in France, French and foreigners, women, men and children and deported.
In 1953 the idea was put forward the Reseau de Souvenir “Network of Memory,” an organization representing the various deportee groups suggested putting up a monument. How does one represent the experiences of those in the camps and tie in with the constraint of the site, being right above the Seine. G.H.Pengusson who designed the space wanted it to be a place for meditation, and filled with symbols. This structure is buried deep beneath the land for which each of the deportees had suffered.”
The theory for the camps would be to place any individual considered “incompatible with the new German society was to be re-educated” or removed from that society. I did not realize that the first camp was actually created I 1933 at Dachau. There were two other camps created: Oranikenburg-Sachsenhausen in 1936 and Buchenwald, 1937. In these camps political and criminal prisoners were mixed all together. In 1938 the Gestapo took over the sole authority for decisions for internment. This term I associate with burial, as in internment of the body.
Return soon to read more about this very poignant site and thank you for reading my Jewish Childhood Blog.