Hampton Wimbish Roman Roads

The Roman roads played a huge factor in the lives of the Romans and they even impacted our road system today. Trenches were dug so that they could be filled with the necessary materials to construct the roads. The Romans would fill the trenches with stones, followed by pebbles, cement, and sand to form a base layer. Then, they would place paving stones on top that were cut so that they could fit tightly together and form the surface walked and driven on. The Roman Empire covered a vast majority of Europe in its prime, and it needed a system of roads for easy travel throughout the large empire. The ingenious design and thought processes of the Romans provided for this very complex road system that, believe it or not, still exists today in some parts of Europe. They were built to last an eternity. It was that same idea that fueled the modern road system we have today. Without the Romans, we could possibly still be traveling on dirt roads!

H. Wimbish Survivor Letter

Link to Photograph


Virginia Holocaust Museum

2000 East Cary Street

Richmond, VA 23223

December 5, 2014


Dear Syzmon Srebrnik,

I hope you are doing well. My name is Hampton Wimbish and I happen to be a curator at the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond, Virginia. The museum has received some interesting photographs that document the Holocaust. In researching these photographs I have discovered that one photograph in particular lines up with your experience at the Chelmno Death Camp, due to what you told in your survivor story that I found on www.holocaustresearchproject.org. This comparison highly interests me, and I would love to further pursue this photograph.

In the story that you told, you elaborated on the methods of execution at Chelmno. In the story it describes many vans that transported people to a burial site. While the passengers didn’t know they were headed to death, the vans had pipes that were connected to the exhaust of the engine and they would release the gases and toxins into the back of the vans, thus killing the passengers just before they reached the burial site. As I look at this picture that I am holding, I see a few men that are in a gas van without clothing. You can faintly see fumes of gas fizzling through the area that the men are standing.

We at the Virginia Holocaust Museum are very intrigued by your story, and we wanted to ask if it would be okay for us to use your story to help further educate people about the terrors of the Holocaust? It would be much appreciated. I also have a few questions about your experience. When you first arrived, did you think the camp would be a good place to be like most others did, or did you see right through it all? Were you ever forced into a gas van? If so, what happened to you after you came out of the van alive? It says in your story that you were kept for a while and that you were used for hard labor because of your physicality and brute strength. Was your labor different from the others? You also stated that leaders within the camp liked you and helped to keep you alive. How did you manage to get them to like you?

Thank you for your time and I hope to meet with you in the near future to discuss pictures and to help me learn more about the horrors of this terrible event.





Hampton Wimbish

Link to Story