I had a visceral reaction to Terezín. I’ve started this post several times over the last two weeks, and I can’t wrap my head around putting my reaction into words.
I found the town of Terezín (it is a town now) to be completely and utterly depressing. You might say to yourself – of course it was depressing, it was a concentration camp. Yes, that is part of it, but not all of it. There are people living in a town that was a concentration camp. The roads are the same. The buildings are the same. The windows are the same. People wake up and and shower and eat and work and live and make love and go about their lives in the same rooms where 140,000 suffered and 36,000 died and 88,000 were living just before being sent east for extermination. It is also depressing because of its current state of disrepair and economic stagnation. Both its past and its present are a sad scene. And I didn’t see much hope for its future either.
Maybe poetry and pictures are the only way to express myself this time.
Protective walls become the cage.
Banks with money
For empty stores
And a café without coffee.
Promises with no intention
A spa on the way to Auschwitz.
For the Jews of Theresienstadt.
Overcrowded and desolate.
Years of suffering then.
No hope now.