Rifah Chowdhury – Roman Baths & Aqueducts

Pipes were used for supplying water in a Roman household, but were taxed according to their size.  Because of this, many houses had just a basic supply of pipes and did not have a bath complex in their house.  For this reason, bath houses were created.  Bath houses were made to keep the Romans clean, but these bath complexes were also a gathering point and served as a social function.  In a bath house, a visitor could use a cold bath called a frigidarium, a warm bath called a tepidarium, and a hot bath called a caldarium. A large complex would also contain an exercise area, a swimming pool, and a gymnasium as well.

The Romans built aqueducts and channels that transported large quantities of water to major towns and cities.  The creation of aqueducts resolved all the problems of water catchment, transport, reliability of supply and distribution to all parts of the city or to a system of agricultural irrigation.  For these reasons, the populations of Rome and other cities increased and the demand for fresh water grew, so the Romans began building aqueducts.


Nardo, Don. Roman Roads and Aqueducts. San Diego, CA: Lucent, 2001. Print.

“Roman Baths”. HistoryLearningSite.co.uk. 2014. Web.


Survivor Letter – Rifah Chowdhury

Virginia Holocaust Museum

2000 East Cary Street

Richmond, VA 23223

December 3, 2014


Dear Rivka Yosselevska,

Thank you for taking the time to even read my letter.  My name is Rifah Chowdhury, and I work at the Virginia Holocaust Museum, located in Richmond, Virginia.  The museum has received many rare photos that took place in the Holocaust, but it is difficult to fully understand what is happening in the photo when we don’t have much background information on the photo.  I have researched things that could help me understand the photo more and topics that relate to the photo.  I have made some assumptions about what is happening in the photo and have conclusions.  I have read your survivor story online (www.holocaustresearchproject.org), and I found many similarities between your experience and the research I found about the photograph.  I hope you are willing to help me gather information about this photograph for our exhibit, because I am sure you could help us a lot.

In your story, you talk about how the Germans ordered the Jews to leave their houses for a roll call and would not allow anyone back into their homes.  Children were screaming and people were scared.  The picture I am analyzing now has a similar scene to the one you described in your story.  It seems as if the soldiers are forcing the Jews out of their homes or some type of building.  The Jews have their hands up and you can clearly see the fear on their faces.  They look like they are moving out with all of the bags and sacs they are carrying, probably filled with their personal belongings.  The little boy who is the focus of the photo looks frightened.  He looks like he is about six or seven years old.  This is definitely not a happy scene.

Would the Virginia Holocaust Museum and I be able to use your story in our exhibit as we attempt to explain this gruesome event in our history?  If yes, would you mid answering a few of my questions so I can better understand your experiences?  In your writing, you say that children screamed, demanding food and water as the Jews made them exit their houses.  Did the parents of the children attempt to go inside the house again to get food and water for their children?  When you realized you were not dead in the pit, what was the first thing that came to your mind?  Were you relieved that you were still alive or were you wishing that they killed you?  And last, how did you feel when the Nazis were killing your own family right in front of you?

Thank you for your time and sharing your brave story with me.  I hope we can continue to educate others on the events of Holocaust in hopes that something like it will never, ever happen again.


Rifah Chowdhury

Link to Story

Link to Photograph