Monday, 4 April 2016

Lessons from the Holocaust: Visiting Birkenau

DISCLAIMER: I have written two blog posts previously regarding the experience of visiting a Jewish Cemetery and Auschwitz. Please read these before reading this post. 

After visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp, we drove and arrived at the biggest concentration camp that the Nazi's built - Birkenau.
The vast landscape of this torturous land was incredible. I could see miles of barren land and wooden shacks. I could also see the symbolic train tracks that lead into the camp - the victims had a one-way ticket to death and torture.

The bitterly cold wind rushed towards us and snow began to fall allowing us to imagine the brutality of Birkenau during the winter months. Workers would work, eat and sleep in freezing weather conditions and this led to a large number of deaths. As we walked parallel to the train tracks, we stopped at a train carriage that was used during the Holocaust to transport victims from across Europe - from countries as far away as France and Italy- to their deaths. Victims were forced to pay for full price one-way tickets and were stuffed into trains; they could experience journeys that lasted 9 days, with no place to excrete or sleep. They were truly treated like animals.

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