Okay so here’s my personal experience being in one of the most horrific places this world has ever seen.
First of all, driving to Auschwitz is scary enough. I guess just knowing that you’re going through corn fields and isolated country roads with nothing in the horizon but wilderness is just frightening. Then after getting emotionally ready to deal with whatever it’s going to be like… there it is in the distance. The biggest brick wall ever with the biggest door I have ever seen and the train tracks that only go one way… into the camp.
As I got closer I got the chills - then we parked. It’s really sort of crazy how just being outside of it was an experience in and of itself mainly because of the barbwire and the huge lights that surrounded it. That scene alone tells a story; a story of people that were caged like animals and slaughtered. Then after trying to swallow all that for a little while and picturing the train approaching the gates, I finally grew the courage to go inside.
I told my guide I needed time, time to be alone and really think about what I was trying to imagine the scene inside those gates at that point in time were like. The only way I could do it was alone. As I walked by the barracks and pictured the chaos and the train coming in, just cause you can’t escape noticing the train tracks... they are at the center of the entire thing. The ditches, the conditions inside the barracks, the towers that even though are all empty right now they were still so scary and real. I can picture it all in my head while slowly walking through the entire camp. Then I got to the back of it after looking up at the guard towers that I felt like were starting at me ever few feet. I was thinking that there was no way you could possibly escape under those conditions no matter what! And then I got to go to the gas chambers and I’m going to leave it at that. It was so awful!!!
But, as awful as it was after going up and down with my emotions, I realized I was learning something. I also realized that the scene I happened to be in the midst of, was giving me a new type or courage. A courage I was trying to reach to be really honest, my whole entire life.
I learned that we cannot babysit or tolerate this type of behavior no matter what!!! I learned that staying quiet and in fear is the worst thing you can do when you encounter this type of mentality and behavior. Sometimes in life you just have to stand up for what’s right even when you’re scared. Take it from me! I have been battling prejudice since I was a little boy. Growing up in a world that seemed like it was against everything that I was, and also everything that I believed in.
We are all very different. And I will take this opportunity, publicly for the very first time in my life to dare you to stand up for what is right. Growing up in a world that was dominated by “White”, “Christian”, “Heterosexual”, “MEN”, not women, but MEN!!!! I’m a man too and I love being a man but these are the facts. They are obviously the only ones in this lifetime that have never had to feel so so different. Of course there are lots of exceptions and I’m not saying that every one of these men fits this criteria and are all the same… NOT at all, I know plenty of men that fit criteria above and aren’t at all like this one bit, obviously!
But unfortunately, I know TONS and TONS that do! And clearly there is a reason why this massacre happened not that long ago and it disgusts me to know that unless you met that criteria, you were eligible for the events that took place here at Auschwitz. And also that so many people and countries didn’t do a damn thing until more than six million lives were gone! By the way there were tons of little kids in the midst too. Why? Because the people I just described ruled!!! And they ruled not that long ago and they are still here, living in our midst. It’s hard to swallow that these events didn’t happen a thousand years ago but it just happened, essentially the other day. Women here in the US just got the right to vote in 1920. What does that tell you? Look at what has happened to black people based on their skin color, Jews, Gays, WHY??? It’s a control thing and an arrogance that has gone way too far. I have been dealing with this my entire life as a gay male, especially growing up Christian. God gave me a brain just like he gave every one of us, so that we can STUDY! Know the facts! Read about history and don’t be ignorant to the things we would like to pretend didn’t happen. Stand up for what is right.
SO I learned a really great lesson… DO NOT TALORATE ignorance and people that are just trying to control you!!! EVER!!! NO way. I will be me! No matter what. If God made me this way, then this is who he wanted me to be. I was never given a choice! And unless you’re in my shoes you can speculate all you want but you have NO idea!! No idea! And NOONE has to right to tell me how to live as long as I’m not out hurting anyone.
So, I highly recommend going and hopefully you too can let go of FEAR and have the courage to do what’s right. The world was watching and clearly didn’t do much until it was too late. If you think this type of behavior is a thing of the past, I have news for you, IT’S NOT! It has been happening for centuries whether its religion, race or simply a lot of men thinking they can dominate women… it hasn’t and it won’t stop until we ALL stand up for what’s right!! I hope you can understand what this means to me.
Thank you for reading this… out of this whole project, this is probably the most important thing I will talk about. Stand up for what is right!