This I Believe

Kimberley - Mesa, Arizona
Entered on March 30, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: Holocaust

I Believe In…Crying

The entrance to this place was crowded with a mob of people. Not people standing around admiring the steel saying “Work makes one free,” but people huddling together trying to escape the rain in this place. This place is called Dachau Concentration Camp.

About 500 feet south of the entrance lies a brick building. Despite its many doors, there was only one entrance and one exit. Scurrying through the rain, I hurried inside to escape the downpour. As I walked through the first rooms, there was something eerie about them. No cobwebs, no lights, no conversations. Just rooms. The first few were holding cells where prisoners had sat awaiting their fate. If they did not die from treatments they were about to take on, they probably died from insanity. The beating of my heart and the pouring rain outside were the only sounds I heard, and those would certainly be enough to make me go insane. Well, then came the real purpose of the building.

Death.

The gas chamber. The room was nothing more than that: a chamber with one entrance, one exit, no windows, and a shower head. Only, this shower head was used to shoot gas into the chamber, not water. I could not believe what I was seeing. Standing in that presence was frightening, sending shivers up my spine and down my arms. To think that men had crammed people in here and willingly watched them suffer and die made me sick. I had to move on.

The next room had a crematorium in it. This oversized oven was used to burn the bodies of literally thousands of prisoners. I stared at this massive machine in bewilderment.

Unfortunately, this room was when the storm hit. Literally, the rain outside began to pour again; figuratively, I lost it. I cried. I thought, “They used this to destroy people? Who would be have the nerve and right to do such a thing to innocent people? What the hell were they thinking?!” I couldn’t help but cry some more. I could feel the pain those prisoners felt, I could hear their screams as they were burned in the ovens, and worst of all, I saw where they had died. I stared some more, took a picture, then moved on.

As I walked outside, I got a sick feeling in my stomach. I didn’t even notice the rain pelting down around me. I thought about it, though, and the rain actually comforted me. I came to one conclusion: the rain cried for Dachau. Just as I cried out of fear and sorrow, the earth cried with me. I realized that it is ok to feel sorry, and if crying is how to show it, just do it.