So today has been very long. Sunny and I took a night train from Prague to the town Auschwitz is located in. It was hot and stuffy and I didn’t sleep at all because there were six of us crammed in a car. It got even better when a Boy Scout troop went to sleep in the hallway so we couldn’t get out. We had to flag down the conductor and make him stop it again so we could get off.
After that we had to walk to the hotel at 5:30 in the morning. It sucked but we had to do it cause we had no Polish money for a cab or bus. But we made it and got checked in. The original plan was to sleep till 10 then visit, but we were so tired we slept till 11 and then went to the mall where we could actually get money. It was crazy.
But we made it and it was azong to see. I’ve studied this camp for 11 years so it was mind boggling to see. We only saw camp 1 because we spent so much time looking around at the exhibits that there wasn’t enough time to get to camp 2. But it was very moving.
I can’t describe what it feels like to walk into the remains of a gas chamber. The utter chill that goes down your spine as you walk under the gate saying “Work Makes You Free* or staring at the execuction wall. The shock of walking into a room still filled with human hair and being told there used to be warehouses of it here. Or seeing the remains of gold fillings for teeth, of the massive list of the book of the dead.
It was unreal. I was standing in a place I’ve only read about and seen pictures from. There isn’t a good word for describe how utterly small I felt standing among the barracks with my friend as we both realized that seventy years ago thousands of people were dying in these streets. And there were moments when we’d pass elderly people wearing long sleeves and you could:t help but wonder…
If we had time, I would go back and see all of camp 2. But tomorrow we’re headed to Warsaw so now I have a reason to return here again someday.