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Nov

Some people cry when they visit the concentration camp, but I didn’t. I felt stunned and a little sick. I’ve heard people say before that something left a bad taste in their mouths. Just thinking about the things I saw at Sachsenhausen makes me want to spit.

We visited on a sunny day. It didn’t seem right that the sun was shining and flowers were growing on ground where innocent people were tortured. Our bodies protest the injustice. Shouldn’t the ground protest too?

It was chilling to see buildings, guard towers, and barbed wire. What I remember most was an exhibit that documented person after person. It told a little bit about their families and profession, and then what we know about how and when they died. Person after person. Doctors. Shopkeepers. Innocent people who one day disappeared, and the next day were murdered by rifle or by gas.

In a way, I hated visiting Sachsenhausen. I don’t want to think about such terrible things. Yet, I think it’s good to visit. It’s good to remember the people who died there.

As we left Sachsenhausen, I thought about how it’s important for us to remember the Holocaust, to remind ourselves about how terrible it was, and to keep anyone from repeating it. Really, how could anyone do things like that to another human being? And why did people have anything against the Jews, anyway? They weren’t hurting anyone.

The Holocaust seems unimaginable, but is it? Don’t we look down on other groups of people who are different from us? Don’t we get frustrated with people who get in our way? I’ve never considered murder, but I have despised other people. But God’s standard is for us to love others as ourselves. That standard applies to everyone, whether they are like us or not.

So now, when I think of the Holocaust, I remember Sachsenhausen, and the terrible things that happened there. I pray that nothing like it will ever happen again, and I pray that God will give me grace to love the people around me.

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