Today I went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. If you have not gone to a museum about the Holocaust then it is something I would recommend doing. It’s a very emotional experience. A lot of people have learned about it school and know about the death camps and other horrible things that took place. However you don’t really understand what all that meant until you see some of the images in person. Even then I could not even imagine being there in person and what those people must have gone through.
This was not my first time going to this museum. I had been once before on a school trip in 8th grade. I feel like it meant a lot more. When I went last time it was a really different experience. I was having a bad day so I kind of walked trough it with out taking it in. I also think this time I had more of a connection to it because of what happened to my family. In 8th grade I had not met my family yet and I did not know anything about the war in El Salvador.
While what happened in Germany does not compare to the things that happened in my country I think there are still parallels. For example we had secret police and paramilitary squads death. Some of them would punish supporters of the revolution by steeling their children. Thankfully what happened in my country was not as horribly brutal as what happened during the Holocaust.
I think the most moving part was the hearing the survivors talking about there experiences. They told stories about walking days on end while taking turns sleeping. People being left for dead on the side of the road because they could not carry on. One women had to step on the bodies of the dead to escape a death camp. As they spoke you could see the determination they had to a live and to make it. I truly admire them for that. You could see the pain on there faces as they recalled everything they had been through. I’ve seen that look on my own father’s face as he recalled his experiences in war.
One main cried as he described how he had to leave a 10 year old boy with a farmer. The little boy was to weak to walk with him and the farmer would take of him. The boy didn’t want to leave him and asked why the Nazis were doing this to him. All the man could say is because you are circumcised and Jewish. You could see the choke back the tears as the emotions came flooding in.
That is something I have experienced before. When the pain of memory comes rushing back and it takes everything you have to fight it. Some of my own experiences have been painful enough so I can’t even imagine what he went through.
I think how horrible this was all was and how horrible war is. I think many people don’t realized the way it tears families a part. No matter what side you are on. I’m just lucky that even after everything that happened to us we were able to find each other again and rebuild.
I have to say I am proud of my parents for fighting. They sacrificed so much and they stood up for what they believed in. One of the reasons the Holocaust happened was people did not stand up to the government. They saw an injustice and did not stand by let it happen. People like them and others who stand up for what they believe in make this world a better place.
I also know that its easy now look back now and say that they did the right thing by standing up to the government but I’m sure at the time it was not so easy to pick right from wrong. So like my sister said I don’t think my parents would have done this unless they believed it was the right thing to do.
One of the survivors said something that stuck out in my mind. She said the dead are not here to tell their story and that even the survivors will not be here one day. I that one reason I am writing this. My mother is not here to tell us her story. So by telling mine she won’t be forgotten.