I walked over the bridge and past the wall that was covered with razor wire. Down a lane flanked by thick trees on either side. It was a cool, grey day.
Guard towers to the right, birds chirping and a cool breeze. The sign just prior to crossing told of a story of how prisoners were brought to Barrack X to be able to take a shower. I am sure they were excited as they approached the bridge.
If any of them couldn't keep up with the group they would be shot. In fact, more often then not the soldiers would do something to keep one behind just so he could shoot him. Why? In shooting a slow prisoner and keeping the lines efficient meant that the soldier would receive a bonus in their paycheck. Bonus.
As we passed the clearing there was a building to the left and one directly in front of us. Red brick with a tile roof. I entered the first door. The room had windows and light streamed in and yet a sense of uneasiness started to come over me. I stood in silence. This had been a room where hundreds of bodies would have been staged prior to cremation.
The next room with several ovens where prisoners were hung (some to their death) and then cremated.. thousands. I scarcely could take it all in. I stood still in that moment as if not to cause the ghosts from the past to flee.
The next room. I stood in the doorway. I didn't want to enter. I hesitated and almost turned back around. The door was greenish in color, heavy. It was a doorway to a room that was lined in masonry, golden in color. Ironically, almost the same color as the streets of Jerusalem. The floors slopped towards drains covered with heavy, large grates. Over head were fixtures fitted with shower sprinklers.
I entered the room and walked towards the center and once again I could sense the fear and sense the cries. I knew this had to be a shower room where the prisoners had been gassed to death.
I slowly left this room into a room where prisoners would have come and undressed to prepare for a shower. Shower or Death? I am sure that many knew what was beyond the door - how could they not? How could they not sense death or smell the putrid odor of burning flesh from the ovens?
Humanity and pride stripped down to skin and bones. Nothing but a number, I wonder what were their last thoughts. I wonder too what were the thoughts of those working in the camps, or had they grown cold hearted and just looked at those before them as less then a dog with no God, thought or opinions? Non human ..
In these steps that I've walked I ask myself over and over again what is it that God is trying to show me, teach me? Is He trying to wake me up from my slumber to realize how easy it would be to repeat history? How easy it is for humans to turn against each other? How easy it is for propaganda to sway opinions of good people against their neighbors all for a little bread, a little money and false sense of security?
Could it be that I am to learn and see that this could easily happen in the states?
I see... I see the same evil machine at work ... the same type of propaganda in a slick machine spewing hatred and cloaking itself behind black masks and words spoken from faceless writers over the internet ... systematically discrediting people for even being human ...
Who were the criminals in this place .. what atrocities had they committed?
They were no different then you and I. Professors, teachers, military, artist, comedian and gay. People with voices and thoughts that went against the SS and Nazi, Germany and Hitler. They were German, Polish, Russian... and then - came the JEW.
SILENCE .. to silence the opposition. First take your voice then take your breath.. then wipe you clean off the face of the earth as if, as if you never existed.
IF we don't remember and walk through the halls of history .. we will surely fall into the same evil over and over and over again.
Wake UP ...