Nov 09/10 - Pt 3: Nepal's Maoist Rebels

The uneasy co-existence of a Maoist rebel army and the national army leaves Nepal and its neighbours on edge.


Nepal - Anup Kaphle

Nepal's bloody civil war came to an end four years ago with a peace agreement between the king and Maoist rebels. And the country was supposed to be on its way to becoming a democracy by now. But it doesn't look or sound like one.

Anup Kaphle works for the Washington Post. He reported from Nepal under a grant from the Pulitzer Center. He was in Washington.

Music Bridge

Artist: Steve Dawson
Cd: We Belong to the Gold Coast
Cut: # 1, We Belong to the Gold Coast
Label: Black Hen
Spine: BHCD 0030

100 at 100 - Léo Zelikowski

Well, the last surviving Canadian veteran of the First World War died earlier this year. But some Canadians who lived through the Great War - as civilians - are still alive. Léo Zelikowski is one of them. At the age of 100, he's one of our 100 at 100.

Leo Zelikowski and his twin brother, Ralla, were born on April 15, 1910 in Vilna. Today it's called Vilnius - the capital of Lithuania. But back then, it was part of Russia. When the First World War began, Leo and his family fled to the Russian town of Slonim to get farther away from the fighting. The town was ultimately captured by the Germans in 1915. Leo has vivid memories of that time.

The war ended ... Leo Zelikowski grew up ... and he went to France to study. He was in Italy, when the Second World War started. On December 21st, 1943, Leo Zelikowski was arrested and interned as part of a roundup of Jews. Two months later, he was shipped to Auschwitz.

Jammed into a cattle car with no water and only some bread to eat, the journey took four days. Leo Zelikowski says there were 550 people on that train. This is how he describes what happened when it arrived at Birkenau, Poland, near Auschwitz.

On January 17th, 1945, as Soviet forces closed in, Leo Zelikowski - and the thousands of other Jews still imprisoned at Auschwitz - learned the camp would be evacuated. The Nazis planned to relocate the prisoners to concentration camps in Germany. But during the so-called death march, Leo Zelikowski escaped.

He walked east to Krakow, Poland, made his way to France and eventually to Arco, the small town in northern Italy where he had initially been captured. That's where he met his wife, Maria. They moved to Quebec in 1991, to live with Maria's daughter, Lina.

It took decades before Leo was able to talk about his time in Auschwitz. But today, he talks about it often. He says he wants to make sure that what happened to him and to millions of other Jews is never forgotten ... something worth remembering today on the 72nd anniversary of Kristallnacht ... a night of vicious attacks on Jews across Nazi Germany less than a year before the Second World War started.

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