Since Sunday May 24 2009 on platform 5 in Wiesbaden's train station is found the confrontation ground for the TRAIN TO REMEMBERING (Zug zur Ernnerung) in Hessen, Germany.
I visited the train on Sunday and was struck myself by the lack of advertising and lack of awareness for the TRAIN TO REMEMBERING. The train is a decades-long response to the fact that it took the German Railway system (Bundesbahn) over 4 decades to even admit it had earned well under the Nazis.
The TRAIN TO REMEMBERING has visited hundreds of cities in Germany over the past two years and the intention is that it will continue to travel throughout Germany until, the German Railway and city train stations across the land recognize the war guilt NAZI burden that remains since 1945.
1985 was the first time that the Bundesbahn even recognized it had made a mistake by not reaching out to the millions of slavery and holocaust victims which the Reich's Ministry for Transportation and the Reichsbahn took part in from 1937 to 1945. In towns like Wuppertal and Bielefeld commemorations have been placed at or around the outside of train stations.
However, in other locations, such as in Darmstadt, it took decades for the Bundesbahn to agree to any memorial being placed at the station to the victims of deportation and genocide.
A COVERUP VIDEO
Until this past year, one could go to the website of the German Bundesbahn and see a memorial film from 1985 that showed how poorly the Bundesbahn was dealing with any war guilt and its image. That particular video is part of what visitors at the TRAIN TO REMEMBERING can see--along with stories & photos of young gypsy, Jews, and Slavic children who were forced to ride to their deaths on the rails to Hell under the Nazi regime.
What I most noticed from that old DB (Deutschebahn) video is that every segment started with the refrain that the end of WWII had seen the poor Reichsbahn left with over 8,000,000,000 reichsmark in damages.
The focus in that propaganda film and on the rise of the Bundesbahn in subsequent decades glosses over the fact that the Reichsbahn had helped make a lot of the know-how possible in terms of how to build and rebuild a European transport network possible. The Reichsbahn had shown how to make money and improve a transport network which was having the Hell supposedly bombed out of it from Allied sorties.
INSIDE THE TRAIN (ZUG)
The entrance area to the train cars of TRAIN TO REMEMBERING reveals suitcases on the platform. The suitcases have names of victims of the racist policies of the Nazi regime and those who followed its leadership from 1933 through 1945 in what is now mostly known as Germany, Poland, and Austria.
However, victims were from all over the continent,too.
There were the escape trains for Jewish children across Europe fleeing to the UK and Scandinavia in the early 1930s. These were called KINDERTRANSPORT TRAINS.