We saw many similar displays filled with baby clothes, children shoes, men and women shoes, glasses, hair combs, and pots and pans. When a new group of people were brought into the camp, children, babies, pregnant women, and injured, crippled, or extremely ill people were killed immediately. I can’t imagine how a person could have physically been able to harm a pregnant woman, a baby, or a child. The moment I saw the case of children shoes all I could think about was my little brothers and how I would have felt if I was in the situation; it breaks my heart. We were led through the different living chambers where hundreds of prisoners were crammed in one room and slept beds of straw. On the walls throughout the hall there were hundreds of pictures of men and women registered to the camp. It was haunting to put a visual to the faces of people who actually walked where I was walking, who suffered, and eventually were killed.
I saw the place where prisoners were locked into a room and starved to death. There was another room where the prisoners crawled into a small cubical big enough for four people to stand. They were forced to stand until they finally died; I stood in one of those cubicles with 3 other people. I can’t imagine the suffering those people must have experienced. Some people who tried escaping or were communicating with the outside world were caught and shot in the head. I walked in the square where more than a thousand people were shot. Only one gas chamber was left because the rest were destroyed when the Nazi soldiers tried to cover up what they were doing. That gas chamber was located in Auschwitz 1 and I walked inside of it. It’s indescribable to explain the way I felt as I walked through a place that thousands of women, children, and men were killed. I just keep thinking about my own family and how heartbreaking that would be to be separated from them and know how much they were suffering, wondering if they were even alive.
The Holocaust is no longer just something I read about or was taught in my history class, it is a reality that I know truly happened. Many would like to forget about this, but I believe it needs to be known to the world. I will never regret making the decision to visit Auschwitz; it has forever changed my perspective. I can never feel good about complaining, or treating others wrongly. I will never waste a precious moment I am given to be with my family and I will always do everything I can for them. I have such a fortunate life and I need to always remember and thank God for that.