After feeling regret for not going to Kraków with my program, I decided to go on my own.

And right now, as I am on the two-hour train ride back from Auschwitz, I can’t seem to wrap it all around my head.

In school you learn about all these atrocities to humankind: you see pictures, you learn names of the victims.

But I did not realize the extent of the tragedies until it was thrown right into my face. Until I found myself in dark and dirty barracks that feel claustrophobic with 20 people in them–how did the 700 women forced to live there feel?

And while walking the same walk hundreds of innocent people walked to their death I can’t help but imagine what they thought was happening, if they had any idea.

And when in the same room that thousands of prisoners were tortured and killed in with finger nail scratches on the wall, I did not want to start to picture what must have occurred there.

And then when I got to the end of the camp at the memorial and saw the vastness of the camp, I truly realized that this place was once a living hell to over a million people.

The evil humans can possess is incomprehensible, that someone can take such an offense against their fellow race is heart breaking. It doesn’t seem real that such a night mare was once a terrible reality.

But all the evil also brings out the selfless love humans have for each other. All the stories of people risking their lives to hide Jews, the stories of liberation that eventually ended the Nazi’s power is enough to make anyone realize that compassion and selfless acts will always win over horrible and selfish crimes.

Corny? maybe. But you cannot deny it.


Anne, English major and Journalism and Environmental Studies minor, is enthused to spend a semester immersed in a different culture. She cannot wait to meet new people, visit new places, and share these experiences with others.

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