A Vist to Dachau, a concentration camp

May 22, 2008
By Mitali Dayal, Matthews, NC

A Visit to Dachau, a concentration camp

I was looking for a stone.
A perfect stone.
Soft, smooth, cold.
A careless memento of my travels.
On which I could inscribe Dachau, in small neat letters.
To show how wonderfully well traveled I was.
And so I entered the place of death
Looking down.
I looked their beds and the unyielding wooden planks.
Imagining one crowded atop the other
waiting for a sleep that would not come.
I looked at the wide expanse of courtyard, blank and bare
Where they stood for hours on end awaiting meaningless inspection.
Torture, really.
I looked at showers, showers that reduced them to ashes.
I looked at their graves, rows upon rows of mass cement mounds.
I looked, but I did not see.
I did not feel.
My goal was to find a perfect stone.
All the while, I was searching.
And I found it.
White and beautiful. Pure. Perfect.
Beautiful until I glanced around me.
And saw suddenly the death and destruction, the murder.
And wondered why I wanted a perfect stone.
What about this place was perfect?
The horror, the persecution haunted me.
How must they have felt those persecuted peoples.
Suffering, hopelessness, fear.
Simply because one man wanted perfection.
The stone slipped from my fingers.
I began to see.
I saw the people and misery and agony.
I felt it.
As my feet crunched the gravel, pain spread through my foot.
I glanced down at the cause.
A rough stone, with jagged edges and sharp points
Which could cut a family, a spirit, a soul into pieces?
A stone that could break bones and people
And finally I saw.
Clutching my stone, my imperfect stone, its ragged edges cutting into my hand
I went home and grieved.

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This article has 1 comment.

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on Jan. 29 2009 at 6:49 pm
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