I had studied WWII history in school, but was not prepared for actually seeing this. Even though this camp had been closed down since the end of the war, you could still feel the pain and suffering. I am man enough to admit that by the end of the self guided tour I was crying like a baby.
This was the first Nazi camp built, and was not the most brutal of them. They did conduct experiments on the prisoners by freezing and then trying to revive them, etc. We saw the oven where tens of thousands of corpses were cremated, and we saw the pits where the ashes were dumped.
The reason I include this information on our family website is this.
As genealogists we tend to look to the distant past for answers about our families.
Occasionally we should look to the recent past for answers about ourselves.
How would I respond in the face of evil?
One of the original barracks has been rebuilt. (below)
This is what the barracks would have looked like.
This is where rows and rows of these barracks once stood.
This was an aerial view of the barracks.
Walking up to the Crematorium. (This is the original building)
These are the original ovens.
This is the Gas Chamber
As I turned from this final grave-site in disgust, I saw this opening in the trees.
The sunlight was filtering down through the leaves, and I could hear the birds singing in the treetops.
I was then reminded that as man’s evil will eventually fade in our memories,
God’s grace and beauty will always endure.