This was the most poignant moment in the entire cycle tour. Berlin to Copenhagen. 550 km in 17 days.
I was cycling as usual, in one of my initial days. Absorbing the experience, fresh and truly enjoying the solitude. Coasting down a small dirt road through German forest.
Green trees on either side and every now and then a field to break the monotony. In the middle of the dirt road were wooden spokes as dividers – demarcating the right and left.
All of a sudden an information board. I stopped to read – about the nature – flora and fauna maybe?
It mentioned how just a little distance away in the forest used to be the concentration camp for young women. The place was called Umbracke and the concentration camp was said to be a “youth welfare camp for young women”, but it was a concentration camp.
It was almost forgotten in the shambles of war and then the soviet mess. But later remembered and confirmed as a concentration camp.
For the length of the camp all the wooden spokes – road dividers – had a bright red dot on them.
I cycled on and kept passing these dots. Too many. So long , so big the camp area must have been.
Alone in the forest. The story of the once forgotten but then found and commemorated – Umbracke concentration camp for young women.
Near Furstenberg Havel.
This Ravensbrück concentration camp also has an official memorial and the guards building has been converted into a youth hostel – so now it really serves the youth! But the impact of suddenly coming across such a memorial – red dots on the road dividers – so subtle, but so poignant.