As a 20 year old Australian student up until this year I had never had any experiences with the 'other side' per-say. However since this year began I have experienced quite a few moments of conversations with a recently passed relative. Most of my experiences had been within a warped dream reality and I had never had a physical experience until I flew to Europe on my adventure.
As a young Journalism student a lot of my interest have often revolved around war and historical moments that have changed the world thus why I made sure to include a visit to Auschwitz within my trip. It is something I always felt the need to do go and visit- I'm not sure whether this is to pay my respects or an attempt to try and understand the injustices that took place there.
Auschwitz is a very silent place and on a frost morning it created a very eery atmosphere (as one would expect). We entered many different rooms through out Auschwitz I and though out the whole visit I had felt a very heavy feeling like someone was pressing on my chest. Upon entering the exhibition showing the victims items and just the scale of how much was accumulated by the Nazi's I felt someone grab my hand. Being with friends I turned around and assumed it was someone however there was no one there. It was a very gentle and soft hold but naturally my first reaction was to open my hand and try to free it- I could not to do this.
As we moved down a corridor my arm moved into place as if I was holding a hand and going for a walk. As we walked I noticed that my hand began to turn blue. It was not scary which surprised me- having never experienced anything like this. I felt the hand to be gentle and almost as if it was a small child holding my hand. I moved around the exhibition avoiding eye contact with my friends to not highlight what was happening as I was in a state of shock. Upon exiting the building one of my friends noticed that I had turned very pale and began to become aware that something wasn't right.
Once out of the building my hand opened in a release and my hand went from blue to my natural colour almost in an instant. My friend witness all of this and now she was one the one lost for words. I ran away from the group and just burst into tears. I had never experience anything like this before and it was such an emotional moment for me. I felt so over whelmed, frightened but also thankful all at once. Thankful that someone that is stuck in a place with such a dark history felt comfortable to come to me and hold my hand. The fact that I could be a sense of comfort for them.
This was an eye opening experience for me and play on my thoughts for the rest of the day- and still does. In a place such as Auschwitz where so much horror has occurred, I was wondering if anyone else had visited there and had any stories that took place? Or know of any? I'm just a young man trying to comprehend what sort of journey I am on this year.