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Auschwitz, Poland

July 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 241

I'd like to call it a nightmare but being here the reality rises in my throat but above all it just makes me feel nauseous and desperately sick

I see mountains of matted hair, cracked teeth, broken glasses and screaming children

Prisoners are found hanging from the gallows, people shot with salacious bullets and the sight of shoes and suitcases piled up high Blistered feet, laborers dying as they are forced to sleep standing up straight Experiments on twins and triplets in an effort to increase the fertility of blue eyed womenCriminals recruited from the dregs of society For who would be better to maintain discipline in a camp ruled by the cruel I hear emaciated women as they must experience experimental gynecological exams In addition to the Jews Gypsies are systematically murdered, political dissidents, criminals, disabled people, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnessesand other enemies of the Nazi state

Before I make my way to the gas chambers I see a pile of Zyklon B canisters a mound of artificial prostheses, crutches and wheel chairs And a pool of ashes from the crematoriums that has since been melded into mud In Birkenau I see countless living quarters on an immense patch of land covered with green grass and beautiful trees

I see where the women slept five prisoners in a line on a small wooden plank Those on the bottom often slept in mud waiting for the next woman to die so she could take a place in one of the two rows just above her And the room was always filled with buckets of urine and feces As access to the latrine remained limited and typhoid began to spread

But what have we learned from all of this? For many people it seems to be little It will soon be seventy years since Poland was liberated and Auschwitz and Birkenau were closed It is a death camp that has become a massive monument Above all it remains as an expression of unfathomable despair And it serves as a warning to show the evil that humans are able to muster if they have an unstoppable will But for thinking people I hope that we will look a bit deeper Are there any limits to hate and bigotry? From where does the psychology of a Nazi come? And what perverse function does it serve? Unless we are able to answer these questions my view will remain extremely pessimistic It destroys my spirit And it makes me feel incredibly sad

Gerald Marchewka is an American freelance writer currently visiting Krakow, Poland. Gerald's most recent book, "Straight from the Heavens: Li Bai's Poetry in Retrospect" featuring the illustrations of Seb Fowler is now for sale on Lulu.com Questions about Gerald's other projects may be referred to geraldmarchewka@yahoo.com

Source: EzineArticles
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