I was supposed to write a blog about Sachsenhausen after I went to see it. That was over two weeks ago, and I still haven’t written anything out. I guess I just don’t want to talk about it. It was a very powerful experience and it made me realize just how forgettable my life is to others. Walking through the camp I realized how many people were there, and how many people died there. At many of the camps and museums, there are several stories of people who did not survive the horrors of the Holocaust. Thousands upon thousands of people whose life is summarized into a paragraph.
There was a moment in the camp where I was standing in the center of the grounds, and I could see all the plots where the prisoners stayed. That was the moment that the holocaust really became real for me. Yeah, I had heard about it in school, and I had been to the holocaust museums, but it was always just something bad that happened before I was born.
Standing there, I could feel the pain and fear that filled the camp. I could picture what it was like to have to stand out in front for roll call twice a day, not knowing if it was going to be your last day. Running mile after mile on uneven ground, in shoes that don’t fit to see how well they will work for soldiers who are fighting to keep you in oppression.
I didn’t want to talk about it, because talking about it means I have to accept the reality of what has happened. I know it happened, and I know I can’t change the past, but I wish it wasn’t real.