Gabe Easter

Views from Auschwitz

Part of me is happy Linzi wasn’t here with me in Poland for this trip. Today we visited Auschwitz. It was emotional. It was eye-opening. It was heavy.

 

I don’t think she could’ve handled it emotionally. She was such a compassionate and loving woman. The pictures of the victims made her look extremely healthy by comparison.

 

Auschwitz was a mixture of emotions. I found myself in awe of the magnitude of this tremendous event and the true scope of it all.  It’s hard to fathom something you’ve only read about it in books. Seeing it in person perhaps isn’t even enough to let it sink in.

 

There were three times I was caught off-guard, dumbfounded, and with no response other than to let fall the tears down my cheeks with futile attempts to suppress them.

 

I walked past the pile of prosthetics of disabled veterans, killed by the very country they’d fought for years prior in World War I.

 

I remember walking past the pile of suitcases and bags, packed by unsuspecting multitudes of people who were told to pack for new settlement, paradise even, via propoganda. I noticed their names were written upon them, along with some letters and various numbers. What they stood for, I could not be sure, but one thing it reminded me of that I often forget when reading about these events: 

 

They had names.

 

All of them. To me or anyone really they were strangers...but to someone, they were a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a relative, a close friend, a confidante. They had names.

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