So we’re here.
In one of my first blogs I stated that I was still in shock, and that this entire saga wouldn’t sink in until we were actually in Poland.
Well, we are sitting in Krakow, and the shock is gone but disbelief remains…along with awe, appreciation, wonder, excitement, and utter, utter humility.
We are twenty college freshmen from the armpit of Texas, most of us only boasting away trips to Mexico (which, as we all know, doesn’t count), and not only are we in Europe, but we are entrusted with this experience as more than just a reward for insight, but as a responsibility and a monument.
We are going to Auschwitz.
In two days, we will be seeing the face, hands, and neck of tragedy and inhumanity.
And we have already seen…amazing things.
We have learned that Poland is more than a mausoleum of history, it is a thriving city filled with exciting people who aren’t so unlike us.
We have seen amazing sites, heard wonderful stories of triumph and loss and … words not yet created.
What sticks out most in my mind as of now is the experience at the museum we visited yesterday.
We were not just told stories of tragedy and of death, but we learned the names of young Jewish men and women who resisted the violence and the cruelty and fought back, who did not act as sheep to slaughter, but brave, unbelievably brave humans who refused to lose their dignity along with their lives.
And what sticks out more is the knowledge that neo-Nazism continues to rebirth and spread across Europe ad other parts of the world.
How stupid can this generation be?
One holocaust wasn’t enough, now ignorant and cruel minds need another to distract from the boredom?
I’m not sure what I can do, physically, to “not stand idly by,” but knowledge is the first step. So know this; Americans have very big mouths. And for once, it will work toward good, because our mouths will not cease to tell of what we have learned, and our lips will work with hands to stop a senseless, childish, unbelievable, absolutely inhumane genocide from occurring again.
It’s time to stop being shocked and start moving forward with the lessons of the past in the rear view mirror.

Published in: on March 18, 2008 at 7:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

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