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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Auschwitz

I think of you every winter morning.

I was a young college student. You were a place standing so we could never forget what can happen when we turn our back to evil for the sake of staying uninvolved.

You weren't just a place, you were souls. A million souls. You woke me up, and you never left me.

It was such a warm and beautiful day, the birds singing, the sky was bright and blue. And there was something so hallowed, so hushed about you. No one needed pictures to remember.

I walked under the iron gate. I saw piles and piles of your watches and clothing, and hair, and so many other things that were a part of who you were. I can't forget.

I stood in one of the chambers. It was so small, I've never forgotten how small that room was, and you've never left me- all of you I never spoke to- but I stood there, in the horrible place where your lives were taken.

I stood so close to one of the crematoriums, I could have touched it. But I could never have touched it. It was all I could do not to take off my shoes.

Later, I walked through the streets of Krakow. I saw the ghetto, the place of so much horror. I was in Warsaw. When I read to my children about Krasinski Square, it wasn't just a place to me, and they could tell.

Each early morning I hurriedly walk barefoot outside with my dogs. In winter my feet hit the icy ground and instantly you are there. If it's cold enough, I might rush inside and leave the dogs to fend for themselves. And then I remember you without a choice, walking barefoot on the frozen ground of a Polish winter.

I am a wife, and a mother. The reality of what was stolen from you pierces me. I think of you, I remember your pictures, your bodies, your stories, and it takes my breath away.

For years, you've been there, every barefoot morning, and I've never told anyone. Every single winter morning, you are there.

7 comments:

Elizabeth said...

powerful...

Emily emilyborkenhagen@hotmail.com said...

WOW. This was beautiful.

Anne Elizabeth said...

Very Powerful post!

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Haunting post.

Beautifully written...I too feel as if I were there....

Lisa said...

that brought tears to my eyes. what an experience.....wow.

Tammy said...

This is a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Shannon said...

Wow. Just amazing, Megan.