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When a German Visits Auschwitz

By David Buller


I traveled to the Auschwitz concentration camp when I was 20 with a group of young people for the retention of the past and a better understanding of history. I remember the day I saw the concentration camp the first time. It was a beautiful day with a lot of sunshine and I thought it was so bipolar cause there is no beauty in this place. A deep feeling laid over the heart as I went through the doors of the camp. It was shame, shame, and sadness.

As a German, you learn a lot about our history through books, documentaries, and movies. But to be there made everything much more real. It was a big area where you go in the barracks where the Jew, Sinti, Roma, and homosexual people, as well as political enemies and others, slept. We visited the places where they worked and other buildings like a lazaret (hospital). A lot of people cried around me as they saw each of these places. For me, it was as if I saw everything through a fog.

We always had a guide who told us information about everything. There is also a library where you can read from original documents about the time there. They showed us rooms full of stuff that the Nazis took from the people who were arrested, like prosthetics, toys, hair and other private things. It was so scary to think about all the things the Nazis took from all of the people. Especially for me as a German, I think it is important to learn about the dark age of my country as much as possible to make sure that this will happen never again.

In times like today where the right parties in Germany become bigger, it is important to understand why nationality is dangerous.