What I Learned Walking Through Modern-Day Auschwitz
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

I Walked Through Modern-Day Auschwitz And Couldn't Stop Thinking 'Never Again, Never Again, Never Again'

I got the chance to go through the site of one of the worst crimes against humanity.

238
I Walked Through Modern-Day Auschwitz And Couldn't Stop Thinking 'Never Again, Never Again, Never Again'
Gillian Pena

I went on study abroad to Poland and the Czech Republic in my sophomore year of college.

On this trip, we went to Krakow, Poland, about two hours away from one of the most notorious concentration camps in history. I got the opportunity to go to the concentration camp that had the most deaths recorded in history, Auschwitz II-Birkenau and Auschwitz.

I never in my life thought that I would have had the chance to go walk through it.

I have always been interested in the holocaust and trying to understand how something so awful could happen. I can never even begin to understand how someone has so much hate in their heart to wipe out entire generations of people.

As soon as you walk in, you see the sign in German that Nazis used to mock the workers, "Arbeit Macht Frei," this translates in English to "Work Will Free You." Reading that sign sent chills down my spine.

Arbet Machet FreiGillian Pena

There is a sense of sadness that overwhelms you almost as if a dark cloud is just covering this land. While no longer in operation, the camp still looks as it did in 1939. You get to walk in the barracks where thousands of innocent people died from inhumane conditions.

You never realize how many people were affected by the Holocaust until you enter one of the barracks.

One of the barracks houses one of the last pieces of evidence of the Jewish population that perished here. There are rooms filled with hair, shoes, glasses and more of people's common possessions that were taken from them that you see behind glass in this room.

Walking out through one of the hallways, you see rows upon rows of pictures of inmates with their picture, age, year of death, and why there were there. Some as young as 18 were there for being gay, gypsy, black, or Jewish.

You realize this had been happening for years without people batting an eye, you see this through the rows upon rows of perished people at this one single camp.

Taking a bus, you go to the second part of the camp. The infamous gate that millions saw on what would be a one-way trip.

AuschwitzGillian Pena

You see a cattle car that millions of people arrived in. My heart instantly shattered.

Hearing the songs and chants of the people walking by who are Jewish breaks your heart, the sense that one person can implement such genocide to such a great number of people. You see the resilience of the ones who are here to honor their ancestors before them.

Seeing the destruction of evidence fills you with fury and sadness that these people caused this to happen.

This fury and sadness are felt by every person walking on this ground. The immeasurable impact this had on the future amazes me.

Throughout this experience, I had something running through my head. I had a constant thought that never left my mind since I stepped foot on that soil, "never again."

Never again is the new resolution we all need to remember.

Never again can we let one person cause so much destruction.

Never again can we oppress an entire generation for their religious choices.

Never again can we let one man have that much power.

Never again can we let so much hate be allowed in our world.

Never again can we let the Holocaust repeat itself.

Never again.

Report this Content
Featured

Leaving My Backpack In The Library

Views about society and the stranger sitting right across from me

17023
https://unsplash.com/photos/O0T1SIgHAfM

As a college student, my backpack is an extension of myself in many ways. It contains my notes, pens, and computer vital for my success in college. It contains the snacks and water bottle I need to survive long days on campus. It also contains the "in-case" items that help put my mind at rest if I forgot something from home: extra hair ties, masks, and that backup-backup snack. With so much in my backpack important to me and my life on campus, it is no wonder that I can get apprehensive about it when it is not with me or in my line of sight. And that makes me wonder.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

5 Cool Gadgets To Make Your Car Smart

Don't let this stop you from making your car smart. You can change the one you have using smart gadgets that transform your car into a smart car.

88242

Cars are no longer just a mode of transport, where you only worry about the engine and how beautiful its interior is. These days, everyone wants to make their cars smarter, those with advanced technology systems. It makes sense for several reasons. It can make your vehicle more efficient and safer when you need to drive.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Inevitable Truth of Loss

You're going to be okay.

115336

As we humans face loss and grief on a daily basis, it's challenging to see the good in all the change. Here's a better perspective on how we can deal with this inevitable feeling and why it could help us grow.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Venom: Let There Be Carnage' Film Review

Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson lead a tigher, more fun sequel to 2018's 'Venom'

97668
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FmWuCgJmxo

When Sony announced that Venom would be getting a stand-alone movie, outside of the Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man films, and intended to start its own separate shared universe of films, the reactions were generally not that kind. Even if Tom Hardy was going to take on the role, why would you take Venom, so intrinsically connected to Spider-Man's comic book roots, and remove all of that for cheap action spectacle?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'The Addams Family 2' Film Review

The sequel to the 2019 reboot is an enjoyable, but unremarkable start to the Halloween movie season

63194
Photo Credit: MGM – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd82bSBDE84

There's a reason why the Addams Family have become icons of the American cartoon pantheon (although having one of the catchiest theme songs in television history doesn't hinder them).

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments