Walking through the metal gates and bars that form the words "Arbait Macht Frei"..closing your eyes as you stomp through the pathway with the group you only hear the grinding of the rocks beneath the souls of your feet, an though the wind blows a chill that offers no comfort, the air is still. Still as the hearts of those who have been here. The heavy breaths around you resonate only for a second, and then are lost in the vastness of the yard, as lost as the prisoners once their souls were color-coded and then removed. These breaths are carried to the sky where the birds circling above, chirping of love and laughter, only taunt you as you sweat in shackles stained with innocence. The drizzle is appropriate, the drops they are not any heavier than the tear shed that has washed the soil for years, and the drops are not received with no more concern than those tears. The walls here do not glimmer and are cold and still; shameless as the eyes that befell and glared down towards whimpering hands-drawn out in plea. Cold as the walls the eyes were.
Out of the windows you will not find hope, only fear, and sunlight only meant in was time for more suffering, more tears blood and sweat- rest will come another time.
Bald floors without fuzz, as bald as the heads were shaved, as their dignities were shaved, as their humanity! Stepping on the bald floor and you feel as all that mentioned breaking underneath you.
The black and white posters are good reminders, and give a sample, but you do not hear the sharp voices and the pang of humiliation, you do not feel the warm blood dripping down as your bones are shattered, you do not feel the mass desperation as you push just one more inch so your life is spared; you do not see your father die or your mother wounded, or your child disappear- you only see a poster, and you say "wow, poor them".
The term "skin and bones" is rarely used as such an accurate description, but when a dandelion found on your work field is your salvation from hunger, and you must share its petals with your loved ones, the term has a much graver meaning. When your despair has eaten away any smiles you had hidden, and any laughter left in the glimmer of your memory, when your despair forces the only pure ounce of energy you've absorbed from that dandelion, to put your one blood stained knee in front of the other and crawl what remains of you across that white border line, because that is your only way out, only hoping that the screams of your people will bring help from beyond the walls, and the people of Dachau will carry your freedom. And as the bullit penetrates the back of your neck-home.
When you consider that, thats when you can respect life, and the breath you breath, and the people that make you smile.
As you walk out, past the barbed wired fence, leaving behind bad senses, a smooth river escorts you and bids you a due, as if trying to erase your goosebumps and trying to wash away what you've seen. Humming a sweet lulliby. But then at your last glance, to the left, you eye catches a sobering glimpse of the graves and ashes of thousands unknown, inscribed "Do Not Forget", and then you know no river of time can ever subdue the pain of this place.