As the number of living Holocaust survivors continues to decrease, what took place during this horrific time period is becoming distant history. And while there soon won’t be any survivors remaining, their stories must never be forgotten.
It is hard to comprehend the tragedy that took place during the Second World War, as Nazi Germany and its allies sought to commit genocide and ethnic cleansing of Jews, Poles, Romani people, homosexuals, and people with disabilities under the “Generalplan Ost” or GPO. The vast scale of this movement is incomprehensible, but perhaps no single site exemplifies it more than Auschwitz.
Auschwitz was a complex of camps consisting of three main parts; a concentration camp, an extermination camp, and a forced-labor camp. It was here that 1.3 million people were sent in five years with 1.1 million of them dying or being killed there according to Wikipedia.
Filming for a documentary recently provided an insight into what these camps looked like from above using special access to fly drones over Auschwitz I (the main camp)and Auschwitz II-Birkenau (the extermination camp). With 472 acres across both camps combined it was impossible to grasp their immensity from ground level or even in Hollywood film depictions.
Seeing it from the air however gave us an idea of just how systemically everything had been designed by the Nazis in order to carry out their plan for genocide on such a wide scale. The complexity and planning behind these camps are chilling when you consider why they were built in the first place; something which can never be forgotten nor repeated again lest we forget our tragic past which must always remain at the forefront of our consciousness if we are not to repeat history’s mistakes.
Sadly few survivors remain today so it falls upon us all now more than ever before then share their stories so that generations may learn about such evil throughout history and how it should never be allowed to happen again anywhere else across the world.