Feeling at a loss for words this week. We took a trip to Auschwitz to get a first-hand look of the Holocaust concentration camps, and I think I speak for a majority of my class when I say it was an incredibly provoking experience. Ashamed to admit I was “excited” to see the environment in real life as opposed to TV screens or from pictures in the books of my history courses. You never truly feel the heartache until you’re in Poland standing in the middle of a gas chamber; surrounded by cold concrete decorated with fingernail scratches where less than 100 years ago, thousands of innocent individuals stood and were murdered as the world went on with their daily lives.
The cold, rainy weather of the day was merely complimenting to the overall mood of the tour. Suddenly the inconvenience that I had a runny nose and soaked jacket became privileges compared to the information we were being told. I consistently felt disrespectful for bringing my camera to my face to turn a crime scene into a tourist attraction, so I apologize in advance for the lack of visuals compared to previous posts. I left Auschwitz feeling grateful, angry, confused, heartbroken, and overall conflicted. The entire event itself seems unrealistic; it’s difficult to comprehend that so many people were forced and brainwashed into thinking this would lead to a better life. I ended the day with a heavy mind.