The Last Place on Earth

Essay by sandor12High School, 11th gradeA+, April 2009

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Many aspects of my life have influenced my personality and the way that I live and see things. Visiting Auschwitz, one of the death camps that was home to tens of thousands of people, left me changed forever.

I can not comprehend how people can sit back and say the Holocaust never existed. During the summer, my family and I traveled to Europe to visit Germany. Germany is a picturesque country with many indescribable beauties, with the high snow capped Alps in the South, to the Bavarian countryside, and the flowing hills of central Germany and to the coasts of the North and Baltic Seas. It all looks like a miniature train landscape packed with quaint old towns, medieval houses, gothic churches and small villages. While we were on our trip around Germany we stopped at one site which I would never forget, Auschwitz. Auschwitz was a death camp to thousands of people during the Holocaust and one of the last places many of the men, women, and even children would see before they died.

The whole compound was barbed wire up all the way around. As I was standing outside waiting to go inside, I just could not imagine what actually took place behind those walls. As we were approaching the main gate there was a sign we passed under with, “Arbeit Macht Frei” engraved in it. This saying was put in front of every concentration camp. It translates into “Work will set you free”. The first stop we made was Block 11. Block 11 is known to be the first building in Auschwitz to have tested gas on the inmates. As I was walking through I could not imagine what it felt like, walking through these halls scared to death because you know you...