I was staring down at my shoes, avoiding eye contact with our tour guide. I have never been good at handling uncomfortable situations and this certainly was one. I cringed as he was describing the horrific events that took place in the room in which I was standing. The only thing I wanted in that moment was for everything to be a lie, but unfortunately this is a dark truth of history.
I don’t know what I expected to see, but beautiful trees and a neighborhood were not it. I think I assumed that everything at Dachau would be bleak and lifeless, so I was taken back when everything wasn’t. Part of what surprised me were the new memorials that showed the dedication to not forgetting what happened and preventing it from happening again; I thought they kept everything the same as it was. However, the memorials were beautiful additions that were very touching.
I learned a lot about World War II in class, but nothing compares to seeing where it actually happened in person. I think visiting a Concentration Camp is very important for everyone to see, and I am very glad I was able to have this experience. The timing of our trip was great; we were able to see the flowers that represented each living survivor that came back for the anniversary of the liberation. Overall, today was a life-changing experience that I will never forget.