Thursday, July 21, 2011

Death at Auschwitz

I am going to describe two trips I have taken to Auschwitz, neither of which was pleasant. One was in July (present day- text in black) and 1942 (text in red)

present day- I stand for nearly two hours in an over-packed, standing room only bus the entire way to Auschwitz. I’m a bit thirsty but if I guzzle some water I might have to go the bathroom and that would be quite difficult here. By the end of the trip I feel nauseous and dizzy.
Standing room only bus ride to Auschwitz
** 1942-- We are packed like sardines and stuffed onto a train. The stench of raw human sewage overflowing from the few buckets we have to dispose of it is unimaginable, and with such a lack of ventilation, many suffocate on the way there. The trip lasts nearly two days. **

We finally arrive on a cold, stormy day. Thunder claps, rain falls. 
Welcome to Auschwitz, admission is free but you are obliged to employ the services of a guide, please stand in line to pay the cashier.

** Welcome to Auschwitz. Please line up in an orderly fashion. Women and children and the elderly to the left. Men to the right please, where you will undergo a health inspection.
Me and my friends arriving in 1942. We feel special, we have gold stars
Please wait off to the side for your tour to start. The English tour will begin in twenty minutes, please be patient handsome man. 

** Doctors take a cursory look at us, waving almost everyone in front of me onwards without much of a thought. You there, you’ve got a good build, please move to the right. Five thousand men on the long train of human cargo. About 400 of us have moved to the right.

“Thank you for coming, I am your tour guide Olga. Please adjust your radio dial on your receiver to channel two so you can hear me ... I can understand why I don’t see many smiling faces.”

** That Nazi Officer just took the old man out of the line, brought him behind the barracks, and shot him in the back of the head. He's laughing …**

“Have a look at the thousands of eye-glasses belonging to the deceased, collected by the Soviets when they arrived and liberated Auschwitz. 

eye glasses at Auschwitz, 1000's of them. They are just a huge pile
Here we have suitcases, people who wrote their names on them believing they would see their items again. And here we have the shoes of various small children who went to the gas chambers, and oh, look at that, a doll.”
The doll a sweet little girl, brought to give her comfort
** Where’s Dannika?! Oh, wait there is she is with her Mom. They’re in line to get a shower. Okay, the Germans are being very calm, nobody’s hurting anyone. Everyone’s moving in orderly line, and a shower sounds pretty good actually. **

Women and children calmly marching into the gas chamber.
This is the gas chamber where 2,500 people at a time were gassed. Pellets of Cyclone B, made by good Motherland Loving German chemical companies, were dropped in from the roof, emitting cyanide gas. 
Used canisters of Cyclone B- made by the country of eternal smiles and good humor- Germany

It took fifteen minutes agonizing minutes for the process to finish, a very painful way to die, but Germans had a lot to celebrate from the most important standpoint to them- efficiency, as no one was known to have survived.

** “Mommy, I’m so glad we finally get to have a shower … *

Standing in the gas chamber, I don’t know whether it was feeling the heavy energy from all the suffering that had taken place there that I felt into, an intellectual understanding of what had happened, or a combination of the two, but after a couple minutes of gazing around, I doubled over like I had been hit in the stomach, and had to lean against the wall for support.

Inside the gas chamber! I apologize for speaking so softly!

** My assignment, remove gold teeth from the mounds of dead bodies before they are to be burned. Here’s a shovel and some pliers. Tears fall from my eyes, my dehydrated body barely able to stay erect. My heart can’t sink any further, then it stops entirely. There’s my girl, no life in her eyes, a naked, cold, corpse beginning to rot. There’s no reason to live anymore. The Nazis will kill me twice today.

The wall of death in Auschwitz, maybe the best way to go

The madness of the human race. The maya of man. In an effort to create what they believe will be a future utopia, whether it be an Arab Caliphate, a perfect Communist State, or an Aryan World, they create hell in the present moment, in the now. And where else is life ever lived?
This remains my favorite picture of me and Princess Dannika, taken when she was 5. Every moment I have ever spent with you is heaven, except when you misbehave. And baby, would you please stop growing up so fast, soon there will be other boys in your life besides me :(

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