Visiting Auschwitz – Birkenau, Odysseas Odysseos, LLM student, School of Law, UCLan Cyprus

Located in German-occupied Poland, Auschwitz as well as Birkenau or Auschwitz II was considered as the one of the infamous camps where more than 1, 1 million people were murdered. It can be also argued that the events of the World War II were another major failure of the mankind with the killing of the Jews to be the highlighting heading. Interestingly enough the only novel written at Auschwitz is finally to be published in English written by Eddy de Wind explaining the living nightmare that those human beings went through 75 years ago[1].  

It is very important for a young person to be able to visit at least for once Auschwitz-Birkenau in order to see with his own eyes and feel the “inhuman” violence and torture that some people endured because of their religion or believes. In addition, we live in an interconnected world where everything goes around social media, new smart phones and followers which affects negatively the population and especially young generations that did not experience struggles yet. At the present time in most cases the concern of a twelve-year-old child is what iPhone would ask from his or her parents; whereas then the concern was the idea of not be able to survive or the idea not to see your family members again. However, it is up to us to educate the younger generations about the struggles that some people encountered.  

Therefore, visiting such a historic place; unfortunately, historic for the wrong reasons can make a young person to appreciate what other humans went through and understand how lucky our generations are that did not experience a world war; at least not at the moment. Everything that happened in Auschwitz – Birkenau can also be a lesson to the humanity as a whole to respect the religion and beliefs of every living person. Especially we can learn from the people that lived the War World II and dedicated their lives in order to save the others during the war. One of them was Georges Loinger; he was captured by the Nazis in 1940 but manage to escape and he saved the lives of more than 350 children.[2]  

Safely speaking, either visited or not visited Auschwitz and Birkenau I would anyway advice a colleague or a friend to read books or see documentaries in relation to the World War II and all the killings that happened by the Nazis. Some people lived in a cruel world and died and some others resisted and fought back for a better future of the generations. Therefore, the least we can do is apply those values and respect other human beings.

Lastly, if I have the chance to visit the place I would definitely share my experience with my colleagues, friends and family and I would encourage them to visit Auschwitz themselves.  

[1]  The Times of Israel, The novel written at Auschwitz is finally to be published in English, January 20/2020, available at

[2] Georges Loinger, French hero who saved Jews in WW2 dies, available at

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