The Windermere Children

windemere childrenReaders of this blog will have heard of the Essenes. Most people have heard of the Cathars. The Armenian genocide? Everyone has heard of the Holocaust. Most people have heard of Pol Pot.

The common thread? It should be obvious; the slaughter of innocent people by unhinged dictators, psychopathic regimes (all of them) or institutions (the Catholic Church) wishing to protect their hegemony.

Another dominant theme of this blog is the Afterlife. Removing the veil between this world and “the next”. And unlike the mainstream’s depiction of the spirit world (there are a few notable exceptions) it is effortless for me to portray it as anything other than paradise.

I have just finished watching The Windermere Children, a BBC film about a group of Jewish children (with an age range from around 5 to 18? ) who had survived the Holocaust. In total 732 young people came over to the UK after World War II. The film concentrated on around 300 who were housed in former workers barracks near Lake Windermere. Nothing I can say in this post can do justice to the magnificence of this production. If watching it doesn’t move you, depress you, sadden you, anger you, but ultimately uplift you then you are not breathing.

If you were to sit down and consider the likely reactions of a traumatised group of children when exposed to something approaching normality, you would probably work out what I am about to share with you. But it still shocks.

Getting off the bus? What fate awaits? Being housed in army-like barracks, having to remove their clothes, being given medicals. Might this be problematic?

Having their own rooms, being fed properly, encountering dogs.

Not knowing, but deep down truly knowing, the fate of their relatives. Night terrors. Official letters from the UK government confirming their worst fears.

As one of the quite wonderful people working to rehabilitate this group admitted the children knew nothing other than horror. Any religious zealot wishing to portray hell could do nothing which remotely approximated to the hell in a concentration camp. This brilliant film didn’t need to show any of it. It was revealed by the children’s behaviour, by their unbelievably dark paintings and by their attempts at readjustment. In one scene a group of around five young men used humour, successfully, to take the sting out of their personal nightmares. Priceless.

As a psychotherapist my greatest tools are “reference experiences”, positive, loving episodes we all have to enable us to function properly. For example being told “I love you” by a parent or carer, doing something well and being recognised for it, recovering from a difficult situation, setting goals and achieving them. Most of these kids either had none or they were buried very deep. Deeper than the horrors expressed through their art.

It would be almost insulting to list the lessons from The Windermere Children. I can only offer my own. People close to me have visited Auschwitz. I have visited a few prisons in the UK, medieval sites and battlegrounds, picking up extremely negative “vibes” but none can be compared to a concentration camp. Insofar as we can be certain of anything in this world we can be certain the Holocaust was real as were the atrocities listed in the first paragraph. To identify any person because of their race, or their membership of a group as lesser humans needs no commentary. Anti-Semitism exists. This we know. I didn’t need to watch the film to realise how the Jews have always been persecuted. I can fully understand the anger and “never again” mind-set following the Holocaust. Had I been in it and survived I would have been a dangerous man. However persecution of the Palestinians and the weaponisation of the term anti-Semitic for those who disagree with the Zionist policies of Israel is not the way forward.

This film captured so much about the human condition. I will not spoil your enjoyment of it. Before I watched I read a description of the film and a critic said that the end scenes would “undo” you. The critic was right. But there is another scene before the end which was equally powerful.

Many of us have prescriptions for today’s youth. The Dalai Lama suggests meditating on compassion. I would suggest to eliminate or massively reduce any real or perceived anti-Semitism would be best served by people watching this film. Or just the scene when a group of local youths are taunting the refugees outside an ice cream shop.

You can probably guess what’s coming next. What rehabilitated these truly heroic young people was love.

A couple of my friends have watched this programme on my recommendation. They were impressed. In the last few months I have personally undergone many changes. In the last six years I have experienced some kind of transformation. I know I am coming from watching this in a way different to almost everyone, perhaps excepting regular readers of this blog.

I was told by a very good medium friend of mine, who else but Jonathan Brown, that my heart would open some time after the passing of Vanessa. He omitted to say one person would be instrumental in that. So I look at The Windermere Children with a very aware eye.

Next week I am going to attend (again) an Identity Constellations workshop. I wish to let go of my abandonment issues. Watching this film has made a huge contribution.

As I close this post I feel overwhelmed with gratitude and love. The perfect recipe for the prevention of any more holocausts and the perfect recipe to defuse and emasculate those who wish to exploit victimhood for their own divisive and anti-humanitarian ends.

We are richly blessed. We are all “special”. We are all aware and awake. Namaste. Jack Stewart, February 2, 2020.

Tá mo chroí istigh ionat Eibhlin.

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