A Liberation Remembrance

She recited the numbers in such a calm, flat voice that it left the listener to take them in and process the horror on their own time.

I thought this PhD grad student from Krakow was just working her job as a tour guide to support her studies. Joel had been hesitant to join the Auschwitz tour, dreading an overly emotive guide. Her tone allowed him to learn and experience the tour without feeling overwhelmed.

 

The scene that had the most impact for me was the room of shoes. The piles of personal items abandoned by the Nazis as Auschwitz was liberated 72 years ago today have been left as a testament to what happened here.

 

piles-of-shoes

 

The pile represented the thousands that were led to their death while the single shoes that lined the shelf were a glimpse into the life of an individual lost.

I could imagine the woman with her pumps – a pair of shoes that would look darling with a skirt today.

 

single-shoe

Who was she? Did she survive? We will never know.

 

It was as our tour closed, a member asked our guide about her background. We learned that her grandfather was killed at Auschwitz all those years ago.

 

She is dedicated to making sure that the holocaust cannot happen again.

 

Today, I wonder if we can say the same thing.

 

 

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