Personal Narrative: My Fascination With The Holocaust

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I have always had this odd fascination with the Holocaust. I don’t have a familial history attached to it or anything, yet I’ve still felt connected to it. My first encounter with the Holocaust was in elementary school. A Ukrainian Jew, a survivor of the Holocaust, came into my classroom and talked with the students through a translator. What I remember most clearly is when he mentioned every nationality that he met while in a concentration camp: Russians, Slovaks, Germans, Polish, the list goes on and on. It was when he was listing these places that we no longer needed the translator to understand him. We knew what he was saying. I’ve never understood why this memory has been stuck in my mind for so long. But, our trip to Poland and Greece has given me an idea as to why this memory has stuck with me for over a decade.
The Holocaust affected everyone. Not one single life went through the atrocities untouched. Today, the effects are still being felt. As one of my classmates once
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First was the prevalence of ‘Jew on a stick for good luck.’ I thought to myself, did these people learn nothing? I thought it was ridiculous that this type of imagery was still available for public consumption. Another instance in which I was both disappointed and furious was when I saw multiple tourists taking selfies or getting other to take their picture while they were posing and smiling in front of the entrance to the camp. As much as I like to complain about how the last generation did things badly, this was a situation in which I was ashamed of my own generation.
What saddened me the most was that it seemed like people had not learned from the Holocaust what they should have. This also makes me feel that what we were doing there was much more important than we originally thought. The Holocaust is still a topic that needs to be talked about and taught. And that is what we were doing there: learning and
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