Poland Reflections: Chelmno and Treblinka

6 years ago Leighest 0

By Zack Ginkel, Mequon, WI

Today, our second day in Poland, we walked through hell. Today we walked through the all to common history of the Jewish nation. A history of persecution and a nation that is all to familiar with a mass grave. Today I stood as a witness of the six million that were murdered during the Holocaust. Standing at the foot of a mass grave in Chelmno, there was nothing to do but fall on my knees and cry.  At least 10,000 bodies lay before me. Now it was real; now I had seen the bodies myself.

It took me two minutes to walk the length of the grave. Two minutes of death. Two minutes of hatred. Two minutes of murder. That was only one of many in Chelmno Poland, the first death camp.  It’s not easy to comprehend that death camps were invented to destroy the Jews. To destroy us. It hard to comprehend that there is such thing as a death camp. It’s like something out of a horror si-fi book. People were occupied for one job…murder. Someone was getting paid to murder innocent human beings.


After the events of today, especially after visiting Treblinka, I wrote a poem to help contain my thoughts:

the trees breathe evil
Consuming the smoke of flesh
Roots reaching beneath the soil of hell
Roots drenched in the blood of this camp
We walked in the shad of those dark trees
Everyone hung there heads staring down at the ground before them
My head looked up
At the sky beyond the cursed trees
Asking the question on everyones mind