With great interest, I read about the violent protests during the presidential election in Minsk, Belarus. "After Lukashenko spilled blood, he cannot remain in power," one of the protesters said.
The story brought back dark memories of the past. Few of today's younger generations are aware of the immense amount of blood spilled in Minsk and environs during the early 1900s. The Minsk area was a favorite spot for the Nazis to ship people who they wanted to exterminate.
On Nov. 28, 1941, a deportation train left Vienna, Austria, with 999 men, women and children bound for Minsk. My mother, Irma, was one of them. On arrival, she and the others were taken to the nearby forest and shot by a Nazi firing squad. Of the 999 people, three are known to have survived.
During the following months, another 10,000 people were taken to Minsk to meet the same fate. Blood was truly spilled in the forests of Minsk.