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Eliza Heywood, English.

This is based on a picture on the outside of Aushwitz

Tuesday & Wednesday 9 & 10 July 2018     

As I looked upon the treacherous snow beneath my feet, I noticed each and every delicately formed snowflake piled on top of one another creating the blizzard which was stronger than the hurtful words the soldiers once used in the camp grounds beside me.

When I let my gaze drift upwards once more, I discovered a tall, rusting, decrepit building and decided to explore. As I got closer the building became more distinct. The windows were covered in moss which looked like congealed blood. The ceiling was crumbling like a ancient and door was whirling in the wind. As I walked inside the door  crashed behind me as I stood up inside the black hole of a room. The smell of smoke still lingered and the dusty prison uniforms laid across the floor like sleeping lions.

As I step into the chamber that would fill with gas, I see and hear the unwilling ghosts. Mothers screaming for their children so they can hold their frail hands one more time. Men cough and spluttering in pain. Children running around wondering where the showers are.Their heartbeats stopped within minutes and their blood ran cold.  The aftermath: naked, malnourished, lifeless bodies piled up on the floor.

As I walked out the room I realized how lucky I was to have survived.

We walked through room upon room of lonely bags that did not belong to anyone, and then to my absolute amazement, I saw my old bag and all the memories attached to it. Gazing across all the shoes with no feet to fill them, the glasses with no eyes to see through them, the toys with no children to play with, the prosthetic legs and wheelchairs which can no longer be used to help those who struggled, I thought back to 65 long and hard years ago when I was a young teenager. As I finally stepped out of the cursed gates with its intricate rusted sign “Arbeit Macht Frei” it finally hit me: the magnitude of the horror.

Your choice. Their future.

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