Finding Peace in a Concentration Camp

by Elisa DiGiacopo (United States of America)

The last thing I expected Germany


I arrived at the front gate of Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, "arbeit macht frei" welcoming us to the grounds where about 30,000 Soviets, gypsies, Jews, and gays were brought to die. While not a huge concentration camp, an overwhelming feeling of sadness and dread overcame me. Walking where many men, women, and children came to work was an experience that opened my eyes to a world that not many people could experience. After walking through the camp and back out the gates, "arbeit macht frei" in the distance behind me, that feeling of sadness and dread turned to peace. Peace knowing that those 30,000 people's lives had a purpose, that their lives and memories didn't die in vein. The last thing I expected going into the camp was to feel at peace, however, knowing that we won't see that in our lifetime again brought me peace.