I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness,
I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us, too,
I feel the suffering of millions.
– Anne Frank, 15 July 1944
Yesterday I wrote about our time in Poland, but there was one part missing: our visit to Auschwitz. I thought that a place such as this deserved its own post, although now I am writing it I realise that any words that I write will never do justice to the men, women and children that suffered and died here. My pictures won’t do justice either.
Auschwitz-Birkenau is a place that I recommend visiting in order to understand where words of hatred lead, to help us remember and learn from the past, and to remember all those that died. It is not a tourist destination, but it most definitely a place that needs to be seen and felt. It is impossible to imagine the fear that those brought to these camps felt, the strength those allowed to live must have needed in order to simply survive, and the loss of family and friends – of individual people – the loss of freedom, liberty and hope. All we can hope is that humanity has now come far enough to never repeat such acts.
For every single man, woman and child who was held there, whether Polish, Jewish, Roma, Black, Gay, Disabled, and for every other reason, I mourn.