The Auschwitz Experience in 4,000 words

Execution Wall at Auschwitz

Execution Wall at Auschwitz

It was difficult to imagine so many violent, unjustified deaths happening in that spot. The sun shone on the raindrops stuck to the flowers left behind by visitors. It made my head swim.

I always expected that when I finally went to Auschwitz, I would sob the entire time. But I didn’t. There was something about it not being about me that made it seem inappropriate for me to openly cry.

Do you know what I mean? Like, what are you crying about, tourist, you did not suffer and die here. Instead, I felt strongly that my task was to look and learn, while being calm and careful. This isn’t to say my eyes weren’t full of tears the whole time or that my throat didn’t feel like there was a vise around it. Continue reading Rachel’s blog…

I was planning to post a different topic today until I stumbled upon Rachel Lucas’ blog (above). This is just a short excerpt of a quite gripping account she wrote about her visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau. I found her account so well written, so compelling, that I had to share it with you today. It will transport you to the lush Polish countryside where this camp system still stands as a testament to the atrocities of the Holocaust.

4 Responses to “The Auschwitz Experience in 4,000 words”

  1. Thanks for telling me about her website. This post was fascinating and touching. She was able to put those heavy, confusing feelings into words. That is hard to do.

  2. Free the Soul mit Arbeit

    I stood in front of
    the glass cage
    filled with locks
    of blond, grey,
    black, brown hair
    and searched and searched
    for just one tiny curl
    of hers.
    Hers? It was long
    and blond and stood out
    like a lion’s mane,
    the same as she.
    I searched but did not
    find it.

    I stood and stared
    at thousands
    and more
    pairs of shoes;
    big shoes
    small shoes and
    tiny little shoes,
    and searched and searched
    for hers. Hers?
    Brown, sturdy,
    flat-heeled, sporty and
    larger than her normal size
    ‘cause of two pairs of socks
    against the cold
    I did not find them.

    I walked by the violins
    and silver-handled
    ‘cause she left
    those with me
    that night.
    To remember her by,
    she said.
    She had to leave,
    hoped to escape, survive.
    The violin and the brush
    were taken from me
    and sold for a bowl
    of potatoes, and she?
    She was betrayed.

    Arbeit macht Frei
    it says at the entrance
    gate to hell and
    knowing her, she did.
    Work hard, I mean,
    hoping to be free, return to me.
    It did not help her
    very much, though, but
    if death means freedom
    and peace, she got it.
    I, too, am working hard.
    I work like hell, ‘cause
    Arbeit macht Frei
    it still tells me
    today, a sad reminder.

    Until I find one lock
    of hair, one shoe, one tiny
    something to remember
    her by, and also
    the place where she,
    her body,
    was thrown into a cadaver
    pit and doused with lye,
    until I can kneel and kiss
    the grass, and talk to her,
    I’ll work like hell to free
    my soul.
    Arbeit macht Frei?
    It does not help me
    very much, as yet.

    © Deborah Rey 2006

  3. found a great 8:58 video on Google with pictures of auschwitz:

  4. comment. visit from the ooze. post reminds me of the mood when we visited a site in Belgium. Hard to comprehend and scary to realize that it was people, ordinary people, who were caught up in all manner of behaviors.

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