Imagine entering a camp with a history that would make your stomach turn upside down. That’s what Auschwitz Concentration Camp made me feel when we took the chance to tour around the UNESCO World Heritage site. It was said in the tour that the camp was established to hold political prisoners. In a span of four and a half years, a million or so Jews, Romans, and prisoners from different ethnic groups were murdered and executed at the camp.
When we arrived at the camp, there was a long queue of visitors who were set to tour the Death Camp. We were given headsets for the virtual tour and as we went along the vicinity, I could not help but feel uncomfortable and terribly sad because of the eerie and weird surrounding where I knew million deaths had taken place. Every traumatic experience and tremendous horror for the Holocaust survivors was sensed and felt there. We started walking towards the women’s camp where stamps of the chimney of wooden barracks were located. Red brick of buildings were built in the road of death and what seemed like normal prison cells were actually a space for people ready to be exterminated. Walking through the site made me hear voices and stories of the past- all the screams of horror, struggling pain, and cry of fear- that were vividly narrated during the tour. People of all ages were imprisoned here for a reason they could not understand.
From what I have read and from the recorded virtual tour, the cause of this madness was only because of anti-Jewish ideology of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi. It was a sickening truth and to some extent, a morbid era led by the German occupiers. The tour led us to the red and white houses. These two were the gas chambers that cold-bloodedly housed the execution of people using Zyklon B- a highly lethal cyanide-based pesticide. The brick buildings stood today as a bleak testament of the camp’s history.
As a human being, I believe this is no place for people to be in. Visiting the concentration camp made me realize a lot of things about human rights, anti-religion ideology, and hunger for power. Such brutal activity was tragic and I hope in this era nothing similar would take place.