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A nice win, and an important history lesson
Posted on 6/2/2011 6:47:19 PM
Good news – the Muskies will return to the U.S. with a 1-1 record. The team bounced back from yesterday's loss with a solid 72-57 win over the Sokol Prazsky club team on Thursday at the club's home gym in Prague. Junior Josh Regal led Lakeland with 26 points, most of them coming in the second half. Freshman Justin Ward finished with 20, and classmate James Oshkeshequoam scored nine of Lakeland's first 11 points. It was another physical game. Sophomore Eric Strzok needed an emergency trip to the hospital for some dental work when he lost a tooth to an opposing elbow in a scramble for the ball in the second half. Several hours later, he arrived back at the team hotel with assistant coach Tyler Bormann and Bormann's wife, Cheryl. The folks from Sokol Prazsky couldn't have been more helpful in getting Eric around town and to the proper treatment.
The day got off to a somber start with a tour of Terezin Concentration Camp, located approximately an hour northwest of Prague. It was a humbling, moving experience for everyone, and the first personal experience of seeing a Nazi concentration camp for many in the group. Most agreed it was the best part of the trip thus far. We were led by a skilled tour guide who was an endless source of information about the camp, which was unique among the Nazi concentration camps of the Second World War.
Terezin was constructed in 1780 as a garrison to protect the region from Prussia, and was known as one of the finest defenses in Europe. It was built to protect the area from invaders from the north, although sadly, over a century later, it would be used for other nightmarish purposes. When the Nazis took control of the area, Terezin was converted into a prison camp and used it from late 1941 until it was liberated by the Russians in May of 1945. It served several purposes. It was a transit camp for Czech Jews and other political prisoners, many of who would later be moved to the Nazi death camps in the east where they were murdered. It was a labor camp. Prisoners were used for projects inside the camp and they worked outside the camp for companies in the region. Due to the deplorable living conditions, the lack of proper nutrition (the work day started at 5 a.m. with a single piece of bread per person and three buckets of water for a room packed with dozens of people) and the constant onset of disease, the physical strength most prisoners had to work wasn't adequate, and they would be transported to one of the death camps.
The most devious use of the camp was for Nazi propaganda and deceiving the world. As questions started being raised in Europe as hundreds of thousands of Jews started to disappear, the Nazis set in motion a smokescreen at Terezin. A visit by the Red Cross was requested by the Nazis to inspect Terezin, and the Nazis had over a year to prepare the camp. The day of the visit, prisoners staged a series of fun events for the inspectors, who were duped into believing that all Nazi camps were simply communities built by the Nazis to help the Jews stay together. The Nazis made a propaganda film at Terezin, a portion of which was recovered after the war (and the team watched following the tour). Our group saw the long rows of wooden barracks on which people slept, the shower room, sections of the camp used for punishment and an open portion of the grounds used by the Gestapo initially for target practice, and later for mass executions. The team took a photo under the “welcome sign” which reads “Arbeit Macht Frei” or “Work Makes You Free.”
It was a sobering reminder of a dark time in human history, but an amazing learning experience for all of us. Seniors Trevor McKown and Sam Schroeder share their thoughts about the tour in the video below.
Friday is our final full day in Prague, and it's a free day for the group. Some are planning to take a train to Austria for the day, while others are going to do some last-day shopping and take in a few more of Prague's attractions. We're headed back to Wisconsin early Saturday morning. I'll post again Friday to wrap up some of the day's adventures. Thanks for reading!
An amazing week comes to an end
posted on 6/4/2011 8:41:02 PM
A final day of shopping, dining ... and skydiving?
posted on 6/3/2011 5:51:08 PM
A collection of game clips
posted on 6/3/2011 7:21:17 AM
A nice win, and an important history lesson
posted on 6/2/2011 6:47:19 PM
All you need is ... Lakeland!
posted on 6/2/2011 7:53:15 AM