In August 2016, I visited for the first time the death camp in Auschwitz. It was enough to only have one look at the great entrance to understand that God cried a lot, when he saw people created by Him exterminated other people created also by Him.
“Arbeit macht frei” or “Work makes you free” was the beginning of the end for over a million people, mostly Jews, Roma and Sinti in this extermination camp. From the first step on the earth that weeps even now the suffering of the souls killed with bestiality, a deep sadness comes upon you. The tears begin to flow and they don’t stop.
With miniatures and mockups displayed in the buildings that become a museum for visitors, you are shown scenes of gassing, death, and your mind begins to painfully project the hell for innocent people. Tons of hair torn from the head of women are exposed as a powerful memory of the massacre perpetrated by the Nazis.
I tried hard to control myself, to control my feelings, but I could not resist when I saw a picture hanging on a wall. A picture of a mother sitting on her knees holding her baby tight. At the bottom of the picture it is written: mom, will it hurt when they kill us? No, mom, it is like when you sleep.
I‘m a father, and I’m still stubborn to think that I know what was in the woman’s soul, but it’s not that at all, for who can ever understand what’s in the soul of a mother who knows that her baby will be killed. Children, women and men left their souls torn with pain in the deep scratches in the thick concrete walls of the gas chambers, scratches made empty-handed in their last attempt to seek for mercy.
So, they left for generations the legacy of the darkest period of our recent history, asking everyone who would cross the steps of the Auschwitz museum and not only to remember, never forget and never repeat the mistake of the superiority of a human race.
January 27 is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this occasion, the European Parliament meets in Brussels in an official ceremony dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Holocaust during World War II. The Nazis killed millions in the death camps. More than five hundred thousand were Roma and Sinti. At Auschwitz it is estimated that 19,000 were killed.
I would be happy to live the day when that fundamental faith that says that we were all born equal, and that each of us can show love and understanding for others will become the cornerstone of our society. I don‘t know if it’s gonna happen, but I hope that at least my two kids and others will not suffer because of the colour of their skin.
We don’t have to judge anyone for who or what they are, and if we still do it because of prejudices fueled by the society we live in, we better try to put ourselves in the situation of those we judge and wonder how we would feel if we were in their shoes. This must be the lesson we need to learn from one of the darkest eras in our history. The memory of the horrors of the past must motivate us, strengthen us to do the right thing, be better with each other.