October 18, 2020

On This Day: 18 October 1941 in Berlin

Remembrance, Berlin, Germany, Jewish History, Here and Now, Virtual Tour, Shoah, Zachor

"Take me out with the railroad,

Pick me out of the crowd.

Rob me of piano and artifacts --

My neighbors don't care if I NEVER come back

For they root-rooted for the Nazis...

Now they're killing us --

It's a shame!

For it's



Three strikes you're out

In the Third Reich Game." (©Ari Kloke, 2008)

On this day 79 years ago, the first one-thousand-two-hundred-and-fifty-one Jewish human beings of all ages were deported "to the East" from Berlin's Grunewald Station / Memorial Track 17.

Memorial Track 17

Berlin guide and guest gaze at contemplative youth traversing deportation track (2014).

Day.Month.Year / Number of Jews / Origination / Final Destination

One steel plate for each transport. White roses laid in commemoration (2015).

The Fate of Human Freight

Imagine being forced to take a three mile walk with your baggage to catch your train.

Many of the approximately 55,000 Jews deported from Berlin hoofed it under duress across town from collection centers to departure points.

The memorial at Berlin's Levetzowstrasse, the site of a former synagogue turned into an involuntary assembly point, depicts humans as freight.

Deportation Memorial at Berlin Levetzowstrasse adjacent to school playground on site of former synagogue (2014).

Human (Juden?!) Freight

Box Car and 'Sky High' Train Schedule (deemed such by author)

Sky high train schedule commemorates the transports that departed Berlin for ghettos and/or death camp "to the East."

Who Did This Happen To?

Who Were "Those Jews?"

Granddaughter and great-granddaughter of deported Jewish matriarch from Berlin journey from the United States to Germany to stand together (2014) at Track 17, their elder's point of departure to a place of no return.

Paul S., Holocaust survivor of blessed memorial, and his wife, Louise, visit Memorial Track 17. Photographed (2015) in front of Karol Braniatowski's concrete use of empty space to depict the essence of what Berlin Jewish Museum architect, Daniel Libeskind, called "the continued presence of the absence."

Marguerite M. is a Berlin native, daughter of Holocaust survivors and granddaughter of Holocaust victims. Visit to Cafe Haberland, a unique place to learn about the personal stories of Berlin's Jews, their resilience and their fates. Marguerite serves the Berlin community at large as a pediatrician and family counselor providing trauma-informed care.

Marguerite introduces her cousins visiting from California the Mirrored Wall Memorial in Berlin-Steglitz, listing the names of deported Jewish Elders.

Marie & Richard Baumann, listed above, were deported from Berlin's Track 17.

Stumbling Stones ('Stolpersteine') laid by creator Gunter Demnig, placed in the sidewalk outside of Richard & Marie Baumann's former residence, commemorate their birth years, day/month/year of deportation, and their respective murders at Auschwitz.

Making Meaning at Memorial Track 17

"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way." -- Dr. Viktor Frankl, M.D.