Visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau by Osher Mader

The MOL participants and those who were prisoners in Auschwitz-Birkenau are an absolutely incomparable pair, but among the many emotions, I found myself thinking of one thing throughout our heart-wrenching experience in the camps. Us students and other MOL participants have the luxury in Birkenau that 90% of the prisoners that have entered did not have – we left.
Visiting and touring Auschwitz-Birkenau was the first time that all the stories and testimonies I had heard really came to life. There was never any doubt in my mind that the things I have heard about the Shoah aren’t real, but seeing the chambers in which my ancestors were murdered definitely hit me in a way that was exceedingly personal and overall “real”. Seeing the barracks in which one of our own survivors slept in opened my eyes in a way that a story could not.

It is said that those who were not in Auschwitz-Birkenau during the Holocaust will never be there, and that those who were will never leave. But this does not mean that we should stop trying to comprehend the atrocities that happened to our people.

Visiting today brought us all step closer to truly grasping the past.

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