Incomprehension, Anger, Sorrow – none of these words can really describe the feelings you have during the visit of the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum.
It already starts when you get off the bus and the cold wind makes you freeze, but the thought of malnourished people working in nothing more than thin inmate clothing makes you freeze even more. When you enter the camp through the front gate with the ironic inscription „Arbeit macht frei” (Work will set you free) you can already feel the desperate and lonely atmosphere of Auschwitz. The barracks themselves look peaceful under the trees in the sun. In front of one of them, in a place where innocent people got shot, someone left some flowers. The barracks under the trees, as well as the flowers, make it all look unreal and displaced. And the dark and desperate world that Auschwitz was just 70 years ago seems quite strange, surreal and curious. In one of the barracks you are still able to see some of the belongings of the former prisoners. There were brushes and prayer scarfs, shoes and dishes next to real human hair that was shaved off the victims’ heads before they got killed by the Nazis.
Nearly 1.1 million of innocent, normal people lost their lives at this camp, most of them in the gas chambers in Birkenau. In those chambers about 2000 persons could be killed at the same time. 75% of them were Jews. But not everyone got killed immediately, thousands and thousands of inmates (educated persons, teachers, writers, politicians, doctors but also farmers and workers) from all over the world had to work for the Nazis. For example in the latrines, the toilets, in the camp to clean them. And those workers who did, you would say a dirty job, considered themselves lucky, because they could work inside the camp and were safer there.
A world in which toilet cleaners consider themselves lucky, where music is not played for amusement but for marching and were people went to the hospital not to get better, but to die, you can only find in the concentration camps of the 3rd Reich. When I saw all those things, when I heard and read about them, when I saw traumatic pictures drawn by the camp survivor and listened to several stories there was just one question that popped up in my head: WHY? Why did people have to die in such brutal and unhuman ways? Why did the Nazis kill all those innocent people? How could they hate the whole nation so much to kill them all in the most brutal camps of death the world have ever seen? How could they kill them at Auschwitz-Birkenau?