Auschwitz – hearing the name sends chills down your spine and sadness in your heart. The horrific Nazi death camp, located in southwest Poland, exterminated prisoners from 1940-1945. Now a museum and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Auschwitz is a reminder of the Jewish Holocaust – deaths of more than a million people; of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, and hatred.
Since the liberation, Auschwitz has become an enduring symbol of the Holocaust. Several of the people that survived and were liberated became famous authors, writing of their unimaginable experiences there. These authors include Primo Levi, Elie Wiesel, and Viktor Frankl (who wrote Man’s Search for Meaning, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize).
- Read of the Nazi Camps and then Auschwitz in particular, then virtually explore Auschwitz.
- Listen to this personal history of an Auschwitz Survivor, Leo Schneiderman. Can you imagine going through something like this? How does one hold onto humanity in the face of such atrocities?
- Read this speech given by survivor Elie Wiesel on the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. What do you think he meant by the phrase, “After Auschwitz, the human condition is not the same, nothing will be the same.”
- Read of one traveler’s experience, visiting Auschwitz . Reflect upon his experiences. How do you think we can prevent such atrocities from happening in the present and future?