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My Trip to Poland

 by Davina Siegal


Visiting Auschwitz- Birkenau left me speechless


I know that what I will write won’t be adequate enough to capture all the feelings, emotions, thoughts and imagery. When something so tragic, so profound, so enormous happens, the world must talk, the world must remember, and the world must continue to acknowledge.

Much like September 11, 2001 twin towers attack, these concentration camps capture another era of remembrance – an era that must never be forgotten. Because if we don’t continue talking and reflecting, then the world is bound to repeat itself.

I found the entire experience at Auschwitz-Birkenau very uncomfortable. But uncomfortable in a way that makes you think, ponder, and reflect. I felt too uncomfortable to take pictures of piles of hair and thousands of cans of Zyklon B. It felt like I was intruding on the final resting place of these individuals.

One of the hardest things for me to grasp was the word juxtaposition between life and death present at both camps. In an odd way, the camps were beautiful, impeccable landscaping, lush greenery ever where, blue skies and the perfect reflection of sunshine. Obviously, somewhere that was the place of so much death and death is not beautiful. It disturbed me that I even thought of these camps as beautiful. However there is a sense of calmness and holiness that comes across.

While unnerving and uncomfortable as it might be, when you are in Poland, you cannot, not visit these concentration camps. Because in the end, it is up to us to continue remembering and educating the younger generation.

Davina Siegel 18 yrs. old student of Naale Elite Academy in Israel 12th grade.