This past Saturday, I was invited to watch my two littlest grand daughters while their mom and dad when somewhere. It was an easy assignment because they already had some things planned – and so did I. I had taken some photos of them before and turned them into line drawings, printed them out and took them with me so they could color them. But the big highlight of the time we were to spend together was taking them to Glow Galaxy. Glow Galaxy is a cross between a large jump house and a black light playground. The place is full of glow-in-the-dark, inflatable jump rooms and slides, even the carpet has colors on it that glow in the dark. One of their friends was having a birthday party at Glow Galaxy and we were to be there at 10:15 in the morning.
If you know me, you know that I HATE to be late for anything. The girls were eager to get going, so, not being sure of how long it would take us to get there, I loaded them into their car seats and off we went. Yep…you guessed it. We were the first ones there and we had to wait. And wait. And wait.
Waiting is SO HARD even for adults, but sometimes I think we forget how hard it is for little ones! But there was one good thing that came from being there early: the girls discovered that Glow Galaxy sells glow-in-the-dark tie-dyed shirts! The moment her eyes landed on them, the oldest one was transfixed, and without lifting her eyes off them for even a fraction of a second, said so innocently and hopefully, “Do you think we could have one?” Well, here’s another secret about me: if my grand kids ask me for something, I hardly ever say no, and I certainly wasn’t about to say no that morning! I thought how much I would have loved to have a glow-in-the-dark shirt when I was a kid…and I reached for my wallet practically before she’d finished asking! What a delight…
But first, they had to wait. And that is the subject of today’s picture. Waiting in the lobby as the minutes stretched on like hours, the seconds like minutes…the nanoseconds seemed to take FOREVER…but at least they had their shirts and were ready for the action when it started!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1942, a Warsaw underground newspaper, the Liberty Brigade,made public the news of the gassing of tens of thousands of Jews at Chelmno, a death camp in Poland—almost seven months after extermination of prisoners began.
A year earlier, the means of effecting what would become the “Final Solution,” the mass extermination of European Jewry, was devised: 700 Jews were murdered by channeling gas fumes back into a van used to transport them to the village of Chelmno, in Poland. This “gas van” would become the death chamber for a total of 360,000 Jews from more than 200 communities in Poland. The advantage of this form of extermination was that it was silent and invisible.
One month before the infamous Wannsee Conference of January 1942, during which Nazi officials decided to address formally the “Jewish question,” the gas vans in Chelmno were used to kill up to 1,000 Jews a day. The vans provided the “Final Solution” for Adolf Eichmann and other Wannsee attendees. The mass gassings were the most orderly and systematic means of eliminating European Jewry. Eventually, more such vans were employed in other parts of Poland. There was no thought of selecting out the “fit” from the “unfit” for slave labor, as in Auschwitz. There was only one goal: utter extermination.
On June 1, 1942, the story of a young Jew, Emanuel Ringelblum, (who escaped from the Chelmno death camp after being forced to bury bodies as they were thrown out of the gas vans), was published in the underground Polish Socialist newspaper Liberty Brigade. The West now knew the “bloodcurdling news… about the slaughter of Jews,” and it had a name—Chelmno.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Artillery barrage and mines created immense noise. In 1917, explosives blowing up beneath the German lines on Messines Ridge at Ypres in Belgium could be heard in London 140 miles (220 km) away.