Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Studying Treblinka

To be honest, I'm not much one for learning or remembering history.  So, when I did research for 'Faith in the Darkest of Nights,' my eyes were opened to a lot of things that happened in the past.  One of those things is that there were more concentration camps than just the most publicized.

One of those camps was Treblinka.  But it wasn't just a concentration camp.  It was also one of about six extermination camps designed by the Nazis during WWII.  It was located in Poland, about 50 miles northeast of Warsaw, hidden from view.  The place was designed to eliminate Jews.  The victims were brought in by train, forced to dress in prisoner clothing, had their hair cut, and were either gassed or shot.  Their bodies were thrown into a mass pit.  At least 800,000 Jews were killed in Treblinka.

There were two parts to Treblinka:  Treblinka I and Treblinka II.  Treblinka I was a forced labor camp, and Treblinka II was an extermination camp.  When the Nazis were about to lose the war, they bulldozed the site, built a farmhouse for a watchman on the land, and covered up every evidence of the genocide that had occurred there.

When I did research for 'Faith in the Darkest of Nights,' I wanted to show that even in the darkest places and the most horrible of circumstances, God is there with you.  I created a Treblinka III for my story, so as to not detract from the horrors of the first two camps, or change the course of events for the prisoners who did manage to escape from the place.

It was an eye-opening experience for me, doing the research for just that one part of the story in the book.  The man telling the story changes another man's heart, which ripples out to save the first man's family.

If you have a chance to read more about Treblinka, do it.  The people in charge of the killings had no remorse, thinking they did nothing wrong.  As horrible as that sounds, it only takes a few more crazy people to think that's right, and to repeat history.
Treblinka Death Camp History
Treblinka (Poland)
Treblinka Concentration Camp: History & Overview
Treblinka Death Camp
Treblinka Extermination Camp

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