We went to Auschwitz and Birkenau, the infamous Nazi concentration/extermination camps. I have been before but still find myself caught off guard and startled by the barbarity and anguish of the place.
We were the first visitors of the day. Snow had fallen the night before. It was cold, a cold that takes your breath away and moves quickly to your bones. Polish winters are unforgiving. The morning's fog had not lifted making the camp feel ghostlike and invisible. The atmosphere was eerie, frightening, despairing. In the distance we could hear dogs barking and gun shots from hunters.
I asked my friend how a place like this could ever be redeemed. It can't she said. It is to be forever a place of wailing and lament.