[As published on Wattpad.]
This small camera I carry has seen much during its tenure at my side, in my hands. I took World War II photos and witnessed things people only view in newspapers.
The high rubble Poland was reduced to became the epicenter of my army career. I took great pains to catalog the cacophony. Various faces, expressions, and horrors met us soldiers — overwhelming to me as I wound my camera and snapped photos. But I get ahead of myself.
I traveled through the stifled remnants of Europe, breathing the heavy post-war air. The scenes my camera took were multiple. Perhaps the most traumatizing was Auschwitz, Poland. Multiple Jews herded across from Europe entered the concentration camps. Some came away — from very far away. Others were living behind such annexed area of Poland.
Through its lens I witnessed the dismembered soul of Europe. Betwixt the enthrall of Polish landscape and glen I saw human beings’ ashes. None of us could absolutely believe with our eyes — nor comprehend with our minds — that in a brick furnace were cremated remains. I took the picture and then the ground caved beneath me. I remember standing in front of the oven for a good thirty minutes until I shook my head, attempting to reason away what I just saw. I can’t remember if I took the picture. It just developed from film. I think the sight took a piece of my own soul.
Listen. On this fallow, narrow hinge I stand. To reflect on horrors so great — it chills the bones and drives the mind to absolute madness.
This camera I will to you.