Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis
Coming to Thunder Bay

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Strange and Terrible Place

The Rotunda in Zamosc Poland was used as a prison by the Nazis. Over five thousand people died there, tortured to death, executed or starved to death. The doors lead to small dark cells. Many members of the Polish resistance movement were imprisoned here. The Nazis began  a campaign to remove people from the country side and fill the empty towns and farms with German "settlers." They forced women into brothels and kidnapped children to transport into Germany to German families. The Zamosc Jews, who made up 43% of the population, were gunned down in the streets or sent to the death camps. The Polish resistance, with incredible bravery and tenacity, saved many. For example, the local aristocrat, Count Jan Zamoyski and his wife saved over 500 children. Walking in the enclosed space, no one else around, my feet crunching the gravel, felt claustrophobic.  The walls of broken crumbling brick weighed on me. I wanted to fall on my knees because I could not stand my inability to understand.

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