Monday, June 15, 2015

Lest We Forget

As I sat with my laptop on my knees, I knew I wanted to write.  I had ideas I wanted to put on the web.  I've look for some images, and now I feel jammed... Weird.

Before coming here, I had never thought the Germans (as in Nazi) made it this far North.  Then a few weeks back, when the kid came and stayed with us over a weekend, we visited this little fishing camp area not far from here which also turned out to  be next to bunkers and others left behind by the Germans after the Second World War.  To think that some place as remote as Bodø could be of interest is flabbergasting to me.  One of Hubby's co-worker had mentioned this place, a few hours away from Bodø, called Rognan where they have cemeteries for German soldiers, Yugoslav and Russians war prisoners.  Prisoners who were "used" to dig tunnels in massive rocks, slaves of the Germans.  Saturday we drove to Rognan.
German Memorial
Memorial stating that 2,732 German soldiers were buried there.
The grounds were well maintained, especially considering how remote that was. It wasn't really well indicated, only a few little signs here and there. The German part was pretty. It has a nice monument, and as I walked around the graves, actually saw one that had a picture. The thing that struck me there was how young those men were. Most were in their early twenties. Sad.

Across the way, was another stone fenced area, this one dedicated to Yugoslav prisoners of was, who died in captivity of German.
1,657 Yugoslav prisoners of war were buried there.
And behind it all, stood a one stone memorial dedicated to the Russian prisoners of war, who had been buried in a mass grave.
111 Russian prisoners.
On our drive back, we saw not one but three rainbows, because yes, again, we were visiting while it rained...

Could have been worst, like it must have been for those poor cyclists doing this Tour or Rally, not only was it raining, it was cold, windy and oh so hilly!

When we got back I started writing postcards. I've been touched by the compassion I've experienced this past week.  As I've written, a dear friend, back home, lost her son suddenly.  I felt that I had to do something for her, to bring her some type of comfort.  I thought of sending her flowers, you know the typical thing, when it dawn on me that one thing that brought a smile to my face was finding a nice postcard in the mailbox.  So, I've asked my Postcrossing friends if they would be kind enough to send my friend, a complete stranger, who needed some kind of human compassion a nice postcard.  I've received twenty-two answers.  As a thank you, I've sent a card back to each one.  I have no clue how my friend will react to this idea of mine, I'm sure I will find out soon enough.

Human compassion is a darn strange thing.  It will surprise you in some people, and just like the opposite is true, people whom you thought would show some empathy are nowhere to be seen.  I guess deep down, I always hope  to see the good in people, and yet, it often isn't the case.  I do know better than to expect anything of others.  Compassion, empathy, sympathy whatever you want to call it, when you're on the receiving end of it all it feels damn good. 

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