I warned my readers last week that I was going to start a new series on the concentration camps we visited while in Poland.  As I mentioned then, I anticipate that the posts will be heavier than is typical for my posts.  I want to share these thoughts as much for myself as anyone else… I doubt there will be anything ground breaking here that no one has read or seen in a movie before.  Like the atrocities that have taken place in Tibet (and continue to this day) though, I feel these stories need to continue to be told so we do not forget.  These are images and realities that we cannot afford to become desensitized to.

When you step out of the bus at Auschwitz on a beautiful day as we did, it is hard to wrap your mind around where you are.  There were crowds and a rushed pace; all the things you’d associate with an area of high tourist traffic.  As you walk through the notorious gate with the message “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Makes You Free) overhead, the gravity of it all begins to set in.

I stopped and looked down this fencerow and it occurred to me that I had just taken something so very basic for granted; the luxury of being able to walk through an open gate freely.  That simple thing was denied so many people who met horrible and untimely deaths on the very grounds I was now standing.

–Dan Thompson

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