January 3rd, 2008

Wanaka tree

Netherlands pics

Here is the first installment of the photos I took in The Netherlands. 

One day we went into Groningen to visit the Groninger Museum. There was an exhibition of Russian art based on Russian legends and folk tales. It was brilliant. 
http://www.groningermuseum.nl/index.php?id=3538

The Museum is a great facility and I wish there was something like it near to where I live. 

So here are some pictures taken in Groningen near the Museum. Sadly, the weather was not the best, all misty and dull, but it was the end of December after all.



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Hope St

Westerbork

This is not an easy post. I'm going to find it tough because I get so emotional when I think about the events that sparked it and the circumstances behind it. I'm sure you all know by now that I'm not someone who likes to offend, though I do take some pleasure in making other people think about things. So, this is not posted to offend anyone and is not designed to point fingers or be critical. I am posting it to make everyone think, just a little, about events they have no control over and situations that get out of hand. This is something I care deeply about and hope with all my heart that nothing like it will ever happen again. 

While I was in The Netherlands I asked if it would be possible for me to go to Westerbork Camp to take photographs. Gerrit very kindly obliged and what I'm posting here is the result. I ought to fill you all in a little on what happened there almost seventy years ago. 

From 1942 to 1944 Westerbork was a holding camp for Jews and gypsys and other undesirables who were rounded up in The Netherlands before being shipped off to the east. It is hidden deep in a forest and I'm sure most of the locals didn't even know it was there until well after the war. During this time almost 100,000 people left Westerbork on the regular Tuesday train bound for places like Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sobibor, Bergen-Belsen and Theresienstadt; very few ever returned.

It is now a very eerie place. It is beautifully maintained and cared for and there are fitting reminders of what happened there and the scale of those things. In my experience, having been there a couple of times, you don't hear birds singing at Westerbork, the surrounding forest seems almost stagnant. I'm not going to harp on about this, I'll let the photos speak for me.



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