“Arbeit macht frei” is German and means work sets you free. That was the phrase of the entrance that these innocent people walked through. In school we have talked about Hitler and the Holocaust but walking the same steps they did,where they slept, where they labored, where they were beaten to death, and where they were stripped naked and shot was totally different than reading a little bit about in a history book. I am glad we had the opportunity to see this history. To see these small barracks meant for 51 gorses to stay and instead 400 people slept in. As I was walking around and just taking everything in as there were so many emotions going on personally, one element on that camp stood out to me. One of the barracks was a monument of the process of when they arrived. They were labeled and identified (not everyone even was able to have a label) by a number and a symbol. The symbol was represented by if you were a homosexual, Jew, a different religious background, or race. There were a few others I just can’t remember it all. I have never ever appreciated my name so much than that moment. We all were given a name, we were wonderfully made, we are loved unconditionally, we are protected, and most importantly we are on this earth for a purpose to share God’s word and gain more brothers and sisters in Christ. I would encourage anyone to make the trip and see Auschwitz for yourself. I’m beyond thankful to be on this trip, to see history before my eyes no matter how sick it was, but to be reminded again throughout the evil, racism and hatred in our world we still have a Father that is yearning for us to continue to run to Him with open arms and surrender all to Him.
PS- on the happy side, we got to see beautiful Kraków (the bus drive was haha very eventful a few hard brakes), eat some great polish food, shop a little, travel back to Warsaw by a stuffy train and continue to enjoy being around these wonderful people that God purposely put us together!