History is a science that teaches the world how to act and learn from mistakes. Centuries of remarkable events, as for the glorious battles and for the atrocious vices, stand as a reminder of what is supposed to be done and what things are to be avoided. Especially the latter should be well remembered as they show the limits of humanity that one is capable of exceeding.
Without a doubt a genocide is one of the most horrendous crimes and it should be continually reminded to all in order not to forget what a great power of one man can do to a million of other persons. Adolf Hitler was such a person and many followed him in his unimaginable plan of destroying a whole nation. An example of a place that witnessed such a mass murder is a concentration camp in Auschwitz, 50 km from Krakow in Poland. It is also the biggest concentration camp built during the Hitlerian occupation as there were inclusively four of them, the other three in Warsaw, Plaszow and Majdanek.
Why is it important?
It was first built for Polish prisoners, as most of the prisons were already full and the Nazis had to find another place to keep their captives. Over time, it started to fulfil a function of a holocaust establishment. During its activity over a million people including Poles, Jews, Russians and people of other nationalities, were killed in the gas chambers and beside them, for example by starving to death or being shot by a guardsman.
What is happening the it now?
To sustain the memory of the deceased at the camp a museum was founded in that place, where you can visit 2 parts: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II—Birkenau. The first part was where prisoners were sleeping and working, while the second part was a place where the bodies of the prisoners were gassed and examined.
How can you learn about the past?
It is possible attend a tour Auschwitz from Krakow, where you can watch a documentary movie about the camp and its history. There is also an English—speaking guide offered by a museum who for about 2 hours can present you the whole facility. You can gain insight to what kind of life many people were forced to live. A life in which the main goal was to attain food, even at the cost of fellow prisoners’ life. You can see the pallets where they slept located in barracks that often were overcrowded.
While visiting Poland it is almost a must go sightseeing this museum primarily to realise the full tragedy of a mass murder and also to experience the pain that these people have felt and to honour their death by remembering and learning about them.