Each Step We Take | Sonntag

05.14.17

I didn’t shed tears, on the outside.

The visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp was… Powerful. Moving. Unforgettable. Surreal.

When I stepped through the gates and heard the rocks rumble under my shoes. In that moment my perspective shifted completely. I knew this experience would not be easy, but standing on those stones changed everything. It’s where they stood. Not too long ago, thousands of people, here against their will, stood in this exact spot in a polar opposite climate. One of fear and sorrow.

From that moment I approached every building differently from where they slept, to where they were imprisoned, to where some were killed, to where they lived their everyday lives. “They” doesn’t seem like the appropriate word to describe a group of thousands who showed such strength and courage for a greatly undeserving situation. Our tour guide in the camp was absolutely phenomenal, and amazingly in each and every way he described the tragedies of what took place, his tone was so respectful and honoring to those who had lost so much.

Standing on the rocks is an experience I cannot explain very well. It was a feeling that affected me personally. All thoughts of spending a grand two weeks in Germany and returning to my life in New Jersey erased into one of utmost appreciation. It was a tough and painful mental realization that I would not trade for anything. If you are wondering what inside those gates had such a profound impact, I truly encourage you visit. Words do not justice to the influence of Dachau.

At the end of our tour our guide left us with an inspiring thought. He said “for those who think it can’t happen again… it already has”. He referred to a time after when he was serving in the German army and assisted in liberating a camp in Ukraine. He called upon the action of us, our generation, and as a human race to ensure that a horrific tragedy never hurts society again.

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