The following is from an essay I recently submitted to a competition.
At Auschwitz, I found myself walking through a former crematorium, along with a number of other tourists and Israeli soldiers. It was crowded and suddenly I felt trapped, disoriented, sick. All I could think of as I looked at the blackened walls was the fear the victims must have felt and the sheer number of lives that had been taken all in the name of an evil that I realized still existed. I don’t know how long I was standing there, frozen to the spot, with tears streaming down my face. It seemed like an eternity, but it was likely only a few minutes. It was only when Pavel, our kind Polish guide, grabbed my hand that I was able to move.