A city with a history of genocide that can do nothing but smile.
Beautiful. Harrowing. And full of life.
To be honest, I was nervous about setting foot in an area whose history compelled me to tears. But I wanted to go; wanted to learn from and about the horrific events that occurred less than 80 years ago. My time spent in the Auschwitz museum was both harrowing and shocking but in no way represented the atmosphere of the city of krakow (pronounced krakov not krakow as my Polish Godfather prominently pointed out.)
All my worries drifted away as I viewed the biggest square in Poland. Every building so we’ll and beautifully built. Every citizen so wonderfully cheery and helpful. And every memory gained so positive and hopeful.
Krakow is beautiful, there’s no better way to put it. Why there are 12 million Polish people living outside of their country beats me. I really do not know. We wandered from chocolate shop to Cafe in awe of a place we had never set foot in before. Listening to the horses hooves and the hourly music played by the bugle, I was able to reflect on my day trip and surroundings. My initial thoughts were: how can life continue here knowing what atrocities were committed only 79 years ago? We were standing in and around history and I felt guilty for trying to enjoy myself after hearing of heart-dropping facts. But then I realised that the laughter and happiness must go on. While we can never ever forget what happened, we also can’t stop living and enjoying our lives. Life is so short and we must truly be thankful and happy for the safety and security we have. To this day there are people living in uncertainty and danger because of other people. Be thankful for the people around you and help educate the next generation to do better than this. We can do better and must. It only takes one small act to start a ripple effect around the world.
We were only in Krakow and the surrounding area for 48 hours but that’s all I needed to learn a valuable lesson. I think everyone should see the scale of Auschwitz and Birkenau because it helps you gain perspective and understanding that this can never happen again! While shocking and upsetting it is history. And ‘those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ The city does in no way represent the atmosphere of the death camps but shows the hope and unity that rose from the ashes and decided to live again.
And if a city thought to be forever sad can learn to smile again then there may be hope for humanity after all.
We will remember them.