I'm sorry, did I say I'm sorry yet?

Published: 2002-01-01

When it comes to saying 'Sorry' the Germans are turning it into an art form.

While visiting a concentration camp today I picked up a free copy of a list of "Memorials in Hamburg for the years 1933-1945".

It's 89 pages thick and lists literally dozens of "We- are-sorry" memorials.

There are memorials to the usual groups, Jewish parents- children- groups- synagogues- schools- cemetaries etc...homosexuals, army deserters, gypsies, forced labourers and so on BUT One of the listed memorials is literally the Crowning Glory of "SORRY" memorials, it's the

"Memorial remembering the deportation of Polish Jews."

In the early 30s life in Poland was very tough for the Polish Jews so around 50,000 left Poland to settle (not legally) in Nazi Germany, in 1938, seeing an opportunity to rid themselves of these people, the Polish Govt decided to change their citizenship laws, and gave all Polish citizens living outside Poland until the 30th Oct 1938 to renew their citizenship or lose it.

The fifty thousand Polish Jews in Germany didn't care and didn't move but the Germans did care, so on the 28th Oct 1938 the Nazis rounded up some 17,000 Jews and put them on trains, and SENT THEM HOME, back to the Polish Border.

Eight hundred of these Jews were taken from Hamburg-Altona.

The Polish Border Guards were not at all delighted and refused to take the Jews—Polish citizens!—in... so the Nazis just left them at the border. At some moment the Jews stormed the border post, and the Polish border guards opened fire on these Polish citizens, killing a large number of these people, the rest made it back into Poland.

Now in Hamburg-Altona they have erected a memorial stone to the 800 deported Polish Jews from Hamburg-Altona. Motto:

"Hey, we are sorry we sent you home and away from the bad bad Nazis."


Additional information about this document
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Author(s): Paul Anonymus
Title: I'm sorry, did I say I'm sorry yet?
Published: 2002-01-01
First posted on CODOH: June 29, 2002, 7 p.m.
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