Musings in Concentration Camp Westerbork

Ventures Into Scepticism

Real Sceptic has its origins as a companion site for the videos produced by Collin Maessen. The site has progressed beyond this original purpose and now predominantly includes articles that are independent of the content released on YouTube. However this original content is still an important part of the site.

This page serves as an archive for videos produced and released on YouTube. You can find full transcripts, source listing and used media files for the videos. We are currently in the process of transcribing all the audio.

Please note that the first nine videos are of a substantial lower quality than videos that were produced after these. As these first nine videos were as much, and in some case more, about learning to edit videos and learning how to tell a story in sound and images.

Musings in Concentration Camp Westerbork

Video description

A quick video about a few musings I had while walking the paths in the Nazi Concentration Camp Westerbork.

This video is also an entry in the contest Zaunstar is holding. Please see the following video for the details:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czy6Y5RfSVE

Transcript

Intro: War does not determine who is right - just who is left.

Last week I had the chance to visit the Nazi Concentration Camp Westerbork. Although there's not much of it left, as after the war most of it was torn down.

While walking on the paths it did struck me that it was a big camp. Just by the sheer size of the open space you were presented with. A vast open space that's eerily beautiful and serene.

There is not a lot that reminds you of the tragedies that unfolded here. The pain people felt, the uncomfortable buildings they lived in, the trauma of being separated from your loved ones and the sheer terror of not knowing what awaited you beyond its gates.

The camp itself was a temporary stop for the people here. As eventually they would be moved to other camps like Auschwitz. And very few Jews that left the camp ever returned. More than 100.000 Dutch lives lost to what now looks like sheer insanity.

I felt a lot of mixed feelings walking the paths in Westerbork. Not really knowing what to make of it, and feeling a bit numbed by the numbers. How can you imagine the more than 100.000 lives lost?

It also struck a very personal cord, as family members of me have fought against the nazis in the Dutch resistance. The work they did saved a lot of lives.
One family member eventually was captured and deported to a camp in Germany. Luckily he succeeded in escaping and returning safely, hiding and evading the nazis till the war ended.

This period was an extremely dark chapter in the history of my country. But while looking at the memorials and markers of buildings, I noticed something, a small but important detail. For what they are currently using a part of this place for. A 3 kilometre wide radio telescope array.

A little bit of reason after al the insanity this place has seen. To me not a more fitting ending could have been chosen for this place.

Media resources

  1. Alsace, France : " Le Strutofh - KL Natzweiler " camp de concentration by Vincent Desjardins
  2. Alsace, France : " Le Strutofh - KL Natzweiler " camp de concentration by Vincent Desjardins
  3. Intro: Mindthings -- Our Eyes Are Blue (Album Above Everything)
  4. Outtro: Mindthings -- Exponential Tears (Album Life's Path)

Ventures Into Scepticism