WOW! so much done, with no internet time to catch up on it all… I am now officially in Jerusalem!! SHABBAT SHALOM!
We ended our time in Poland with visiting Auchwitz, Triblinka, and Birkenau concentration and extermination camps. The emotions were not as raw as they were at Mjdanek, I think because the initial shock was different. I have chosen to not talk to much about all that I saw until I am able to begin processing it all. My emotions have ran from one extreme to the other- initially upset, then angry, then confused. The autracities that occurred there have no words to do them justice, and seeing the strategic planning and excecution that took place… I have no explaination. But I know that I want my explanation of my time and experience here to be strategic and well thought through, so for now I will hold it all in my heart.
I can say that having a survivor with us changed the entire dynamic of this experience. The next generation will have no survivors to talk to or hear a story from. Irving took us through Auchwitz from his own life, he took us to bunk 33, and to the crematorium that his family was killed in. The ground that he stood on twice a day to be counted and recounted, experiences with Dr. Mengele there during the selections. It was all so real, as a 14 year old boy, and now in his 70s, he can still smell the burning hair and flesh, as well as the sound and smell from the electric fences that surrounded the area. Suprisingly, Irving walked with pride through that camp, making jokes and telling stories of his 3 years in Auchwitz. It is very apparent that the SS soldiers walked as gods around these Jews, and after all their evil attempts, the Nazi regime no longer stands, but he is still there today, reliving his hell, will a smile and hope. His righteous anger at God has turned into grace, and he loves being able to share his experience.
There is so much I can say about the last week, but I’m not sure how it will all come out in words. There is no logic.
But for now, I have just traveled and walked for the past 24 hours, so I’m going to hit the pillow. We landed at 4am and starting touring from there, checked in to hostel at 2pm.. back out for touring.. finally in late. I have so much to say still… maybe tomorrow night.
I will leave with this- A people who does not remember their past, will never have a future. We cannot be blind to the things of our past, because as the little changes begin in our present, that past will absolutely become our future.
goodnight from Jerusalem!