Most of my blog-posts where I babble about what I did on any given day have a pun-tastic title. I... well, I didn't think that this was a pun worthy thing. Yes, I did go on a day trip to the area we know as the concentration camp of Auschwitz. I know that I spoke about it already in my review of the Wake and I know that most people don't come here to listen to me spout.
Nevertheless, this is part of my experience and, to be honest, this is part of how I cope with things. I record them and that is part of my processing. I'm not sure that what follows will be coherent, let alone interesting, and I'm absolutely certain that it will be less amusing and uplifting than my other posts. It will also be accompanied by some of the pictures that I took on the trip. If this ain't your bag or you don't really wish to face the camps then don't click below.
Would you really like to know more?
I already forgot that my mother had been here twice in the past. It's not a place that lends itself easily to talking about or even comprehending. We all know the figures and the numbers, we all know the zeroes and the stories and the inhumanity. We know that the numbers are so huge and so impersonal that we can't wrap our heads around them, the stories so far removed from our experience that we cannot really empathise still less understand and we think we know the reason for places like this: never again. Except that they must fail every single day if that were their aim. Sure, no one is murdering Jews or the Sinti or the Roma. But homosexuals, transexuals, asexuals, ethnic Russians, ethnic non-Russians, Muslims, non-Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists .. The list goes on. No... it's not the kind of place that allows you an easy get out clause.
|The only synagogue in a town with no Jews in it any more.|
Oświęcim, a place that remains normal.
Buildings in Auschwitz I were on two or three floors and the people who were sent there had to buy their own railway tickets.
|Zyklon B canisters. It's a disinfectant. But in these|
quantities. I do not understand those that deny the
Holocaust. It was too big.
Much too big.
|A camp within a camp. This was the Russian POW|
camp at Auschwitz before it was extended at what we know
What does it take to be a good human? What if there are no right answers? What can be said, what can be sung, how can we live, speak with what tongue? "Well, what were expecting?" asked Leonard Cohen in his poem, All there is to know about Adolf Eichmann. the question was asked, the one that was unnecessary; and the answer, the one that was completely necessary, was given.
A second part will come, I'm not done yet.