In 2015 we acknowledged the anniversaries of the end of the Holocaust by walking in memory of those who died and in honour of those who survived the last brutalities of Nazi persecution.
Walk in our own country
On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Belsen April 15 2015, we walked in our own country bearing witness and as an act of commemoration. We have used the shape, scale and orientation of the historic death march route to generate a modern route arriving at a place of contemplation. We have chosen our destination, where those who were forced to walk could not, in that choice we celebrate life and remember lives. In so doing we seek to bring the past to the present.
Re-imagine and bear witness
The intention is not to repeat the death march but to re-imagine and witness it in our home country and thereby connect something almost unimaginable that happened almost beyond living memory to here, and now.
A return journey
On the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Belsen, we will undertake a return walk following the actual historical route. This will be a journey of rediscovery and assertion of the living who carry the memory.
The focus is on the liberation of the Death Camp at Belsen in Germany, this has a particular significance in Britain as it was the BBC news from this camp that first documented the scale of the Nazi death machine. The famous radio report by Richard Dimbleby was delayed by 3 days allegedly because his editors could not believe what he was describing. It is also significant because Lorna Brunstein’s mother, Esther was just barely alive and survived because the soldiers arrived on that day. Tragically the soldiers were not in time to save Anne Frank who, amongst hundreds of thousands of others, died in Belsen.
Listen to that BBC broadcast here:
More about the liberation of Belsen from the BBC here
There were other death camps and many other death marches. We walk in memory of those who were forced to walk across Africa to be sold as slaves, we walk in solidarity with those currently being forced to walk away from their homes in Palestine, Syria and the Ukraine.