A Stream-of-Consciousness about the Holocaust Studies Tour

Recently, I was given an opportunity at an Asbury University chapel to briefly talk about the tour I lead each May. Given the super-tight time restriction, I thought it might be helpful to create a “stream-of-consciousness” description. I’ve copied it below.

Pretzels, pastries, German chocolate, perogies, the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall, the Wawel Castle, Wittenberg and all things Luther, perogies, train rides through the countryside, walking through splendid little German towns, but what is that behind those dark walls…it looks foreboding.  ____ Churches, stunningly beautiful churches, St. Mary’s Basilica – have I ever been inside anything more magnificent? Did I mention perogies? _____ Concentration camp gates, heavy darkness, barbed wire – beauty co-mingled with barbed wire, evil lurking amidst goodness. The gates of Auschwitz, despair, soul-sickness. And yet, (oh how I hold on to those two words), and yet, a sliver of hope, of rescue and shelter, of glorious self-sacrifice. But the piles of luggage, of twisted eyeglasses, of hair and shoes, mounds of shoes, children’s shoes. What? How could? Why? Inhumanity inside humanity. Fear everywhere, windows shuttered, churches silent, head down, don’t look over there, decide not to see. And yet…and yet, there were some to be counted as righteous.

Memorial tracks at Treblinka