Twenty four years or so ago, I stood on a railway station platform in the Netherlands. It was a beautiful day. We had scheduled an afternoon to visit a Dutch concentration camp. As our little group was waiting for the tram to take us to the camp, we collectively chickened out. It wasn't a matter of being afraid to go. We weren't hesitant due to any failing of courage or moral fortitude. It wasn't even our first camp.
That more than anything was probably the real reason we got back on the train and headed to our next stop. It wasn't our first camp, and we still remembered what it felt like getting the gates locked on us at Dachau. You see Dachau is a large museum these days. One of the techniques they use when it is getting close to closing time is to lock up the different sections of the grounds and then the staff guides the visitors out. We got locked in the crematorium section by the ovens. The staff probably took all of 15 to 20 minutes to get to us and escort us out, but it seemed like eternity standing in the drizzle.
I can't explain why I felt a sort of soul deadening hopelessness that day. The staff was just doing their job of crowd control. Yet standing on the bridge looking out those locked gates filled me with sadness. I hadn't talked to any of my friends about that feeling. Yet when it came time to go to another camp, none of us wanted to.
I'm not a Jew. I don't even like gin. I've known several Jews that I've had business relationships with over the years and liked them very much. I can't imagine what kinds of emotions a camp would stir up for them. Which is why I found this vid interesting.