Monday, September 24, 2007

Witwell, Tenn

Located in the little Town of Whitwell Tenn. in front of the Whitwell Middle School, just about a mile north on Main St from downtown will get you there. They have an audio tour of the site that explains how this project came about that you can listen to, plan on at least 30 to 45 minutes to see this site.

This project was started by one of the history teachers when teaching about the Holocaust, the number of Jews that were exterminated by the Nazis (6 million) was to much for the students to comprehend, so she decided that they would collect paperclips and attempt to reach 6 million so they would realize how many lives were lost. She picked paperclips because after Norway was conquered and the Jews were forced to where the Star of David, other citizens to show their support and solidarity did it by wearing a paperclip on their outer garment. One thing led to another, a website was started and they ended up collecting over 30 million paperclips, along with more then 30 thousand letters and documents. The paperclips are housed in the Memorial and the documents are in the school library.

The Boxcar is one of the original boxcars that was used by the Third Reich to transport Jews to the Concentration Camps, it held any where from 80 to 150 at a time. It was located in Germany and purchased with donations, with the help of the German government and military along with dozens of US corporations the boxcar was moved from Germany to Whitwell Tennessee and placed on display in front of the school. There are displays in the boxcar and 11 million paper clips.

Outside the boxcar is a separate monument for the children of the Holocaust this also houses 11 million paperclips.

The dimensions of the boxcar, which at times housed up to 150 people, are approximately 26 feet long and 9 feet wide, which works out to about 1-½ square feet per person.

Its thing like this that make traveling the back roads so much better then speeding by on the interstates.

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