Thursday, May 8, 2014

For the good

As a Communication Arts major, I generally talk quite a bit. But on today's tour, I barely spoke at all. Our group took a train ride to visit the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, which was a Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany.

If ever there was a day to visit, today was the day. The sky was overcast and cloudy when we walked through the gates of Sachsenhausen, upon which the words, "work shall set you free" were placed. It is a foreboding feeling that you have when you walk into a place you know acts against humanity took place. We couldn't hear the birds singing anymore and the wind was strong across the open area where political prisoners were kept.

As many Holocaust books you can read or hear about World War II in history class, it makes history feel more real when you are in the spot it took place. But as we walked through the barracks and gas chamber, it changes the way you see human kind too. A group of us wondered what life was like for the guards who worked in the camp and thought about the other side of the Holocaust story.

Our trip quickly ended when it began to rain. I thought about the irony of all the tourists running into the buildings to get out of the downpour and how those kept at the concentration camp during it's prime might have been made to stand in the rain for hours. I think we all left thinking how no one thinks about how their life will someday be a part of history, hopefully for the good.

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