Walking through the rough pebbled road of Madjanek. A concentration camp, unlike the others it was found in a residential area in Lublin.As I walked through the large, brown gate that I have seen so many pictures of and what books described.Coming from a Jewish School i had been taught about the holocaust and made me wanting to know more. I was about to reflect on a story I was told among many others a testimony about Helena, a 13 year old girl who was basically herded through these gates with her mother, brother, his wife, family and friends. I felt a gust of emotion and feeling like I was Helena although I had comfortable shoes and knew what I was in for… the young 13 year old walked this exact path with her family but no shoes and the fear of the unknown. On the way Helena’s brother found a pair of white high heel shoes that of course any 13 year old would battle to walk in on a pebbled road, he managed to break the heels to make it easier, I still felt her pain through in my cushioned sneakers.
My journey was one of learning and taking home the knowledge of the holocaust. I knew I was always coming back to my comfortable home, my life and my loved ones.
Helena and her family had heard the stories and the word out there about the concentration camps and the gas chambers. I have always heard stories about the gas chambers and I could only just imagine what they looked like and how many millions died in them. As I walked through by myself I could only reflect the fear, horror and the agonizing fear witch is inconceivable that Helena her family and million other precious innocent souls. As I stood in the chamber in silence, I could only try conceptualize the shocking cries from the torment of 2000 people at a time . Immediately the temperature dropped to sub zero degrees, I was cold and numb, with my eyes closed all I could hear the deathly shrieks from the alarming crows. Crows always remind me of deaths and spirts. I find it intriguing that there were a huge amount of crows hanging around these camps… I always wonder why? As I opened my eyes I was appalled to recognize the scratch marks and etchings on the blueish, gas stained walls. I was crowded by the traumatic images and overwhelming thoughts of what went trough all these souls last minute, cries of desperation. Helena’s story carries on, her Mom walked through the very same chambers but was not seen again.
Everyday this story goes through my mind and teaches me a different lesson of what to be thankful of. That all the small things in life doesn’t matter and we need to focus on then leaps instead of each small little step on the way.