Traveling usually fills me with joy and wonderment. I love exploring places and experiencing new things. Today was a little different. There would be no joy in today’s travel and I knew that last night. Today, I went to Auschwitz. Today was the day when I truly wondered how the words “human” and “humanity” could possibly be related. The evil that took place here lingers and the criminality that took so much from so many continues to draw millions to this place, yet thankfully, their crimes only inflict grief and draw tears today.
I don’t think that I can add much to what has already been said about this place other than it haunts you to see it person. As a student of history, I couldn’t come to Krakow without going here and there was much I learned at Auschwitz. But Auschwitz is more about feeling than learning. One can’t come here without feeling history rather than learning about it.
I tried to walk through this place as dispassionately as possible and almost held it together completely until we went by an entire room with a glass wall that was entirely filled with the human hair of the victims that the Germans didn’t have time to send to the factories that made socks and uniforms out of it.