Hubert, our beloved Polish taxi driver who picked us up from the airport and offered to chauffeur us to Auschwitz the following day (despite it being his day off), greeted us this morning with a friendly smile and wave. He kindly drove us to a BP, where I managed to get Stacie the iced coffee she’s been craving since we left the states, and we were then on our way to the one-hour commute to the town of Oświęcim.
Watching the lush green forest whiz past our taxi van, I started spacing off. I thought of this being the very ground our grandfathers and great-grandfathers tread upon, equally unprepared as I to witness the sights waiting for us at this most infamous extermination camp. I thought about their fervor and delight when it came time to volunteer to go to Europe to fight the forces of fascism and oppression, and then I contrasted that with the images I see of today, those of the rising swell of white nationalism and neo-nazism, bearing many of the same symbols as the flags that once flew over this parade of horrors. Continue reading “Grappling with Grief: A Day at Auschwitz Birkenau”