Reflections on Auschwitz

I recently shared the experience of my visit to Auschwitz on December 31, 2005, with a friend of mine. It was snowing, and a fresh blanket of snow covered the landscape with a sereneness that only happens in the heart of a muffled and frigid winter. The weather made for a particularly poignant visit to an already poignant place, as I hope the photographs below will show. It was so quiet there, not very many people in attendance, and those who were, speaking in whispers so as not to disturb the past. I recall thinking that the atmosphere at Auschwitz was very peaceful.

I reflected today that my description of Auschwitz as ‘peaceful’ might have seemed a bit odd, but I said that because I think all those lost souls there have a sense of peace in seeing that there are so many people who come visit that place in order to learn, to try to understand, and to leave with a sense of hope for a better future.

Europe’s Jewry, et al.,  were betrayed by their fellow men on such a profound level, and one is reminded of the denial that was consistently waved as a false white flag for the early part of the war, because people could not believe that humans could be so cruel and so treacherous. People ostrich all too easily, when faced with uncomfortable truths, as is the wont of human nature, but they do come around eventually.

And examples such as the attempted genocide of the Jews in the Second World War is why war is a necessity at times, in order to fight the evils of the world and keep the whims and delusions of madmen at bay.

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