Monday, February 23, 2009

No Petr, actually I have never heard of a tit bird...






So this post is a little dated, but I wanted to write about our day trip to Terezin and Lidice last week.

USAC took us on a little day trip to a few places about an hour outside of Prague. We went to Lidice first. After Hitler's main man Heydrich was assassinated by two Slavic men, the Nazis decided to make an example of Lidice by literally leveling it during the war. They killed most of the men in the town and shipped the women and children to prison camps. 60-something children were later gassed at the camp, and the ones who weren't were forcibly separated from their mothers and "adopted" by Germans. It was awful to see the videos of women who survived describing that day. The whole thing was really intense. I will never understand how humans could do things like this to each other. Today all that really remains of Lidice is part of a cellar where the largest and richest farm stood, and the church door and a few artifacts that were found later.





After Lidice, we went to a really picturesque town called LitomeĊ™ice. There's not much to really say about it except that it was incredibly beautiful and almost German looking. Apparently all of Czechoslovakia's German inhabitants were expelled from the country after WWII, and Litomerice had been a mostly German town, thus explaining the look. We ate at a restaurant called "At the Dragon". My meal was probably fried meatloaf and green bean soup, but I can't be sure. I couldn't read the menu and I was trying to be creative...


We went to Terezin next, which was both a prison camp and a Jewish ghetto. The ghetto had one of the best exhibits I've seen. During the war, the Nazis used Terezin as propaganda to show the world that hey, we treat people fairly, look at this wonderful "Jewish-run community" we have here. Terezin had no gas chambers or "murders" per se, but many of its inhabitants died from exhaustion, over-crowding, and poor medical care. But the truly incredible thing about Terezin was the artistic life of the people. They were allowed to paint, write music, and put on theatre productions, as long as they were in line with the Nazi ideology. Many artists drew and painted works that showed the true side of life in Terezin and hid them around the camp to be found after the war. And so many artists and actors were interred at Terezin - they had pictures and reconstructions of set and costume designs, paintings, compositions...it was really inspiring and beautiful, that people would still have the heart and the drive to be creative and express themselves in the midst of such hopelessness.

We saw the prison camp after the ghetto. It was awful - imagining people locked up in tiny cells with no room to even sit down, in the freezing cold, no privacy. I can't imagine...not at all.

Anyway. Not the most joyous day, but I definitely learned a lot and I'm really glad I got to go. Life has otherwise been pretty basic around here. I think I've hit a little bit of a wall. I'm still glad to be here, but I'm really tired of it being cold and wet and having too much time on my hands and not much to fill it with. I'll figure it out soon, I'm sure.

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like an intense day, but very interesting. I'm glad you wrote something again. I love reading your blog. Just because I don't comment, doesn't mean I don't love it! I do. I miss you and so do the puppies!

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  2. Just so you know...I'm keeping up with this blog. I love hearing about your classes and adventures and such :)
    I watched amazing race last week and they were in Prague. I looked for you, but I didn't see you? Weird.
    They also went to Germany and it was so gorgeous!
    We should audition when you get back! It would be incredible. What would our label be? "Friends" I guess? We'd have to think of something funnier than that for the video though!

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  3. Oh also, I forgot to tell you I watch a musical the other and it totally reminded me of you...

    Cannibal, The Musical.

    Hilarious.

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  4. Hey! Glad to hear you're studying abroad too. It takes some getting used to, doesn't it? But it's been a good time so far.

    I'm studying management over here at the University of Leicester. I'm heading back to the States on May 19th, but before that, I have a long Easter holiday. Right now, I'm trying to finish all my coursework so that I don't have it hanging over me while on holiday.

    During the holiday, I'm planning on traveling in the UK and Ireland and around in Europe a little bit. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm going to make it as far as Prague, but I think I'm going to be in Berlin for a couple of days.

    So, how are your classes going? Have you had time to do some traveling of your own?

    -Grant

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