Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau

Today was an incredibly powerful & emotional day in Poland...we drove from Krakow to Auschwitz and spent the day going through Auschwitz & Auschwitz-Birkenau...words cannot express the emotions that so many were feeling and remember those that were lost during this atrocity.  At Auschwitz-Birkenau alone, 1.1 million Jews were murdered along with so many others.  We are processing everything that we have seen and know that tomorrow will also be tough seeing mass graves and Majdanek.

The pictures speak for themselves...

Outside entrance to Auschwitz

"That's the difficulty in these times: ideals, dreams, and cherished hopes rise within us, only to meet the horrible truth and be shattered. It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet, I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart."
Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank

"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky. Never shall I forget those flames which consumed my faith forever. Never shall I forget that nocturnal silence which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to dust. Never shall I forget these things, even if I am condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never. - Elie Wiesel

"There is no answer to Auschwitz...To try to answer is to commit a supreme blasphemy. Israel enables us to bear the agony of Auschwitz without radical despair, to sense a ray of God’s radiance in the jungles of history." Abraham Joshua Heschel

Going through the Book of Names trying to find family members

Sample page in the book

"First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me." - Martin Niemoller



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