TEREZIN: PRISONERS IN PARADISE or EDGE OF DECENCY–PART I

CLOSE YOUR EYES. IMAGINE A BEAUTIFUL, ROLLING VALLEY: TWO RIVERS converging on its floor. Miles of tall grasses wandering in the wind. The valley slopes are wooded with flowering linden trees, oak, fir, spruce. Maybe you see a wild hare darting behind a white beech. Wild boar, red deer, and pheasants graze in the shade of the forest. Brown bears and wolves hunt these woods, but you will not see them today. High above the treetops, you spot a short-toed snake eagle bothering a Black-winged kite away from her territory. Slow moving water murmurs nearby in the moat of an ancient stone fortress. You might imagine you have discovered quite a slice of paradise right here on Earth. Open your eyes: you are standing in the Czech Republic, 37 miles and 43 minutes north of Prague, just outside the dilapidated, almost-ghost town of Terezin.

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