10.1.2020 – Two Trains remembered

Two Trains remembered
I should have but, can’t forget
what I did not know

In my reading recently I came across a description of the arrival of Mackenzie King, the Prime Minister of Canada, at the city of Berlin in 1937 in the book Four Days in Hitler’s Germany: Mackenzie King’s Mission to Avert a Second World War.

The author of the book, a Mr. Robert Teigrob, writes that Mr. King came by train and that the train stopped at the Friedrichstrasse station in downtown Berlin.

Mr. Teigrob notes that the Friedrichstrasse station was rebuilt and expanded for the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics and the station today in 2020 is much like the station in 1937.

Almost in passing, as more of in-text footnote, Mr. Teigrob also notes that people using the Friedrichstrasse station today in 2020 will pass by the Trains to Life memorial.

The Trains to Life memorial, according to Wikipedia, depicts two groups of children. One group is a pair of children symbolizing those saved by the Kindertransporte, which brought 10,000 Jewish children from soon-to-be Nazi-occupied countries in Eastern Europe to safety in the United Kingdom and other countries. The other group consists of five children, who represent the 1,600,000 Jewish and non-Jewish children brought by Holocaust trains to the concentration camps and later killed there.

Two trains.

West or east.

Life or death.

Never forget is the mantra of the holocaust.

But I never knew about this memorial.

Somewhere in my mind is a notion about the Kindertransporte program that saved the lives of 10,000 children.

But I had not put into perspective.

And I was not aware of the is memorial.

I did not know or did not think about how this played out in real life.

Never forget.

But how do I remember what I did not know.

It got me to thinking.

80 years from now and memorials start to go up representing groups of kids impacted by decisions and programs of today, which side of the memorial do I want to be on?

80 years from now and memorials start to go up representing groups of kids impacted by decisions and programs of today, which side of the memorial do I want to see have 10,000 lives and which side do I want to see have 1,600,000 lives.

80 years from now and memorials start to go up representing groups of kids impacted by decisions and programs of today, which side of the memorial do I want my great children to point at and say, that’s where our family was.

Maybe I forgot.

Maybe I forgot to remember.

Maybe I did not know about this memorial.

But I will not forget that memorials to our time are coming.

And I will not forget which side I will be on.

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