Recently, NPR broadcast a program describing a visit to Auschwitz by a woman who's Jewish grandparents were murdered there.
NPR Program: A Day at Auschwitz
It is too easy to focus on the statistics of the Holocaust and lose sight of the individual people who suffered and died. This program helps us see it from the perspective of people who lost their family at Auschwitz.
“I walked under that gate, Arbeit Macht Frei, took a deep breath and thought, ‘I am here,’” my mother Helene Springer recalls. “It’s a place I never wanted to be, but I was walking under the gate and into some horror that I was going to see that affected people I loved and many other people I didn’t know. And it was horrifying.”
Millions died there. Every one of them had a mother and father; many had aunts and uncles, cousins and children. Each person had a community; each one had name.
In block 27, we come to the Book of Names – a memorial to the Jews murdered during the Holocaust. It is 8,000-plus pages hanging from a black stand in the middle of an otherwise empty room. Each page is 3-feet long and contains hundreds of alphabetically listed names.