Monday, February 22, 2010

Auschwich Revisited

As many of you know I recently traveled to Poland as a parent chaperon for a class field trip. I had great expectations of a wonderful post to my blog when I returned. Well I posted and let's just say that the content was great...but the photos lacked shall we say SIZE. You couldn't even really tell what they were. Many of you were nice enough to read and comment but wished my photos were larger. Shall we say...I am learning every day in this wonderful land of BLOG. So...I figured it out with much anguish & turmoil and lo and behold we have some...let's say sizable photos. My son Lincoln was invited to participate on this class field trip back in early fall. He was the only 7th grader chosen. We flew to Warsaw, Poland and then onto Krakow. We traveled daily to film and capture one of the worlds most gruesome atrocities....the slaughter of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. We went to Auschwich & Auschwich II better known as Birkenau. We filmed the 65th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwich...the ceremony. We stood outside with no shelter, no food, no water & no seating for 7 hours. Did I mention that the ground was covered by 18 inches of snow and it was 7 degrees outside. Not one person could you at the sight where millions of people perished in way worse conditions. In the above photo you see many suitcases, nicely labeled, and probably filled with wonderful family heirlooms. Family treasures confiscated by the Nazis with the promise they would shortly be returned. A promise never intended or kept as the owners were probably sent straight to the gas chambers for extermination.

...and the massive quantities of shoe brushes. Let's just say that the Nazis didn't let anything go to waste....except the millions of Jewish people who died at their hand Auschwich. Imagine looking into a large window display that is say....the size of a large living room. Filled to capacity with shoe brushes. It is really hard to fathom & that is why I try to give you a comparison.

I am weeping now. Looking at the vast amount of baby shoes in this photo one can only imagine the horror that must have been present in these killing fields. Mommies separated from their babies...the horrific cries. The helpless anguish felt as the mothers realize the fate that will soon squelch the very life from them. What might these infants have become? What great things might we have received from these precious souls? I weep when think about it. These images are in my mind forever...I will never forget what I have seen...but I leave the memory at just the right place as to not cry forever.

....the toys & the wonderfully knit woolens. I can't even begin to describe the sadness I feel when I think about the lost owners of these precious pieces. One can only hope that maybe they weren't all destroyed...maybe just maybe they were taken home by one of the Nazi soldiers and given to one of their they were innocents too. It is hard to call a Nazi child an innocent but after really talking to people you know that they too were innocents. War is atrocious. Lives lost....lives stolen.

....oh my goodness....I would be remiss if I didn't mention the hair. Seeing a large window display utterly filled to the rim with tons of hair. Hair bagged like a crop of cotton...used in much the same way except taken not from a living plant...but from a lifeless human. The images...many too horrific to show or to comment on are imprinted in my brain....the suffering of the millions of Jews imprinted in my heart. May you all rest in peace and may your lives lost be a constant reminder that we must all fight for life....we must all fight for peace...Tikkun Olam.


TinyBear said...

OMG - have no words for this....
Thanks for sharing
Hugs, Tina

Cherie Wilson said...

Thanks for sharing this difficult post Hope. Your words and pictures paint a horrific but valuable picture. I am so glad you shared.

Ginger said...

Hope, It is all so sad, my Dad was in WWII and he said they had to march by those horrible death camps and the stench was terrible.

I am your partner in the swap so came to look around and I love what I see. Talk to you soon.

glitter and roses

Me....bunny said...

I have been to the Holocaust Museum here in los Angeles...what can I say...there are no words for this tragic event in history...just that it doesn't happen again. I work in a middle school with 7th and 8th graders and when they experience this type of thing you can see the light bulb go off over their heads...a truly great educational experience.Very sad and heartfelt post...I will come and visit again..stop by and say hello.


Jeanneoli said...

We used to live in DC and I was a history major so when the holocaust museum opened up I wanted to see it. As powerful as you think it will will be more. So hard to fathom how much life was wasted and the hearts that took their lives so easily.