At first I wasn’t planning on sharing photos from Auschwitz, but in the days following my experience, I decided I would be doing a disservice keeping them to myself. Although I have read extensively on the Holocaust since elementary school, nothing could have prepared me for what it felt like being on the grounds where these horrific crimes occurred. I was overcome with shock, grief, anger and disbelief as I tried to comprehend the merciless acts that man committed to one another, totaling over one million lives.
I dedicated my day to paying tribute to those that were brutally murdered and robbed of their lives. I visited Auschwitz Birkenau first on my own, and then did a guided tour of both camps, which I strongly advise. The mental and physiological abuse that these innocent women, men and children endured is incomprehensible. The photos I’ve chosen to share are only a mere depiction of what once occurred, as I am not naïve in knowing that the reality was not a placid landscape, but a chaotic state of horror with haunting sounds and smells.
These photographs are my small contribution to never allowing their story to be forgotten or the brutalities ever underestimated. May it remind us to treat everyone we meet with respect, to practice tolerance and celebrate our differences and finally, to always, always choose love.