Thursday, January 27, 2022

The Guardians of Memory #ThursdayTreeLove #HolocaustRemembranceDay

Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day when we pause and remember a horrific time in the history of our world.  Genocide is a grim topic and I realize some readers will scroll on by and seek happier reading.

But, for the rest of us, I want to address this in a different way.

January 27, 1945 was the day the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp complex in German occupied Poland, where some 1.1 million people were murdered, was liberated.

Few of the survivors, or their liberators, are alive today.  Soon enough, they all will be gone.

But witnesses will remain.

The trees there remain, silent witnesses to history.

Some of the trees still at the complex were planted by prisoners.  They weren't planted to make the prisoners happy, but, rather, to please their oppressors.  Others were already there, fruit trees planted by villagers whose village were taken over by the Nazis and the land used to expand the camp complex.

The caretakers of the complex do their best to safeguard the trees.  In a way, they are symbols of hope. Where hate once was, now there is the beauty of nature.

I have never been to any Holocaust site, but I like to visit historic sites in our country.  The picture below was taken at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, in 2017.  This is the property where General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union forces headed by General U.S. Grant in April of 1865, helping to end a terrible Civil War that tore our country apart. 

I don't know if any of the trees in this picture were there to witness this event in the history of my country, but I would like to think so.

Trees do so much for us.  We don't think of them as witnesses to our lives, but in they are. They give us food, fuel, building materials, and oxygen, teach us patience, and bring us hope.

As for the Holocaust, it was real, it happened, and I can only hope we never forget it and other such events in world history.

Joining Parul at Happiness and Food each second and fourth Thursday of the month for #ThursdayTreeLove.


  1. This is a beautiful thought and even prayer, Alana. Carol C

  2. I have visited the Aushwitz - Birkenau complex and it is a dumbing experience to say the least. Indeed, if trees could talk, they would tell us so much. Question is , do we have the strength to listen to their stories? :-(

  3. Tennessee has banned pulitzer winning material about the Holocaust by the child of a Holocaust survivor. Maus by Art Spiegelman I hope the trees are shouting.

  4. Your take in trees is very interesting. They’ve witnessed so much of our history. We must never forget.

  5. ...a day to remember a part of history that many are ignorant about.

  6. The idea of trees as witness comforts me. I've visited Auschwitz. Twice. But I was so overwhelmed by the historic, pictographic displays I honestly don't remember trees. Now I'll need to burrow for my old photos to see if we captured trees in any of our images.

  7. I never thought of that. Trees live a very long time and many have probably witnessed the terrible. So sad.

  8. To us, the trees have seen so much. But to the mountains, the trees are mere children.

  9. Trees are sure the guardians of memory. And the ones that you shared would have witnessed it all. Thanks for the reminder Alana that part of history that were as hard as the Holocaust should not be forgotten.


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