|Sent on:||Tuesday, July 16, 2013 12:06 PM|
Today is Tuesday July 16, Rome, Italy, on Sunday July 14 I visited the camps at Auschwitz. At first I was amazed at the size of the area, in movies and documentaries it’s very hard to gain perspective of the size of the compound. As my group was led through the main entrance the famous picture of the portico with the German words telling the inmates “Work Will Set You Free”, of course none of the inmates were set free, just one of the lies told those that were rounded up and brought to this place to complete the final solution. Upon entering the camp there is a noticeable difference in the experience of a tour made up of people with cameras and signs of their visit to Poland, tee shirts and hats bearing the names of local attractions such as the Krakow salt mine and other things of interest for the tourist in Poland, the faces of all held a blank stare, not the blank stare of those visiting a famous art gallery or monument, but of fear and trepidation, I swear a person cannot visit this place without feeling the pain and suffering that this place wrought on so many.
There was one instance in my life that emotion got the best of me and uncontrollable tears came spewing forth. That was my first visit to the “Wall” in Washington D.C. Seeing the names of so many of my comrades and fellow pilots and my two card playing partners on the wall just got the best of me. It happened again on this Sunday as my group entered the first of the buildings we entered. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t control myself and the tears flowed with a myriad of emotions building in my stomach. Then as the tears subsided I was filled with anger and rage the rest of the tour. There was no laughter and human sounds except for the sounds of feet shuffling and a few whimpers there was silence. I wondered if this silence was the result of fear, reverence, or just the disbelief that this really happened. There were photos of many of the people that were slaughtered and I searched the photos of the children looking to see if I could find my grandmothers eyes in and of the thousands of young girls that were put to death by these monsters, eyes that I myself inherited from my grandmother, so that I might find her two younger sisters that were murdered either on the gallows, or by being thrown into one of the hundreds of furnaces built by the Nazis, but the eyes all looked the same, distant and empty. What went through the minds of my Aunt Carman, and Aunt Elizabeth in those final moments, was it rage, was it fear, or was it relief, I’ll never know I can only speculate and I pray they found peace. Although I am not Jewish I placed stones on the train boxcar that is on display in the Jewish tradition in their memory.
In my work as a teacher of constitutional law I argued did the Israelis have venue to try and execute Adolph Eichmann, and did a court in Nurnberg have the right to try and execute those that we have all read about in the history. This visit changed me forever. Some crimes are so great that the idea of a fair trial and venue are irrelevant and death by hanging is two forgiving of a sentence of the miserable psychopaths that by virtue of their existence perceive they are superior and my regret is there are none of these things left for me to rip their faces off and pull their hearts out and stuff them in their mouths with my bare hands, I would have gotten great satisfaction from that.
Upon leaving the building where the photos were displayed, tons of hair cut from the women and girls to be shipped back to Germany to manufacture wigs for patrician German women I heard the scream of a young child, just the child of a tourist that was tired and cranky as small children get, I thought the screams of the thousands, of Jewish, catholic, gypsies and others deemed inferior had to deafening, how could anyone that calls themselves human do what they did. There is no validation and those that deny send them there, the spirit of the place will change that attitude for if indeed they are human they will feel and they will change and they may even attempt to redeem themselves for the thoughts of denial they had and will maybe even redirect their activism to the effort of never allowing something of this nature happening again.