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Contents Page: July 1, 2011, vol 7 no 2

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Peter Butler

 

Jewish Museum, Prague

The suitcase says everything: big, brown, bruised, empty. It must have required a strong arm when filled with the possessions you were allowed to take. Beside it, a child's drawing: a man with a whip, two people on their knees. The inscription reads: 'Tomas, 11'. Lining the walls, several thousand names in immaculate order. Quite often, a visitor wilts in recognition.

This is a site created on the Fuehrer's orders for his 'exotic museum of an extinct race.' It is nearly midday and queues are lengthening. An assortment of races and origins, many of the women wearing headscarves, men donning the kippah. Curiosity, sadness, or possibly shame bring them here.

Kindertransport
the children silent
blinking at labels

 

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