Barbára Wajszczuk - Argentina (9.IV.2002)                                       

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Cold and grey

I was thinking about Dachau since I knew that I was going to go to Germany. I went to Poland. My dream came true. I am happy.

I always felt interested in histories of the concentration camps and I visited Auschwitz and Majdanek. But there was something more: Dachau, Germany. A relative of mine had died there and I wanted to visit the place.

After my intense trip by Poland, I finally began a two weeks' vacation in Germany. Shortly before returning I decided to remain and so I did it by almost four months. I was dreaming wide-awake all along. And thanks to my boyfriend's job the trips began...

München. A beautiful city !!!. My boyfriend had to work, so I visited every little place by myself. Until one day I saw a brochure in the hotel: "Guided tours in English to the concentration camp of Dachau ". And I did not even know that I was close to it !!!

So I got up early and I went to the tour. I went there to find any connection with my past. The weather seemed to be accomplice of the situation: Cloudy and cold. Grey.

There are no personal elements of the prisoners in this camp as you can see in Auschwitz. There are no wood cabins like those of Majdanek. It had all been destroyed. There are only a pair of re-built cabins and crematories.

Lots of green. Lots of emptyness. But there had been suffering under arrest and ill my last name. My father's last name. My grandfather's last name. My history.

Karol Leonard Wajszczuk was my grandfather's uncle. A priest under arrest and murdered in Dachau. And accidentally, one of the few cells that are still on in Dachau is the cell of the priests...

There I feelt an anguish that I had not felt in other camps. I had seen incredible things, heart-rending photos and evidences of what had happened in those places that made my soul feel squeezed. But in Dachau I did not find those kind of things and despite that, my emotions were much more stronger.

I arrived at the collective tombs. Catholics and Jews. Old and young people. Healthy and ill ones. Poles and from other parts of the world. The lives of hundreds of men were there, in those collective tombs resting in the green garden.

All my emotions joined together. The things that I was feeling inside me since more than a year ago when I began to plan my trip to Poland, were there about to explode out of my skin. I was alone, with my past and my history and the air full of pain in a rainy day in the place where, along with hundreds of men, lived this part on my history for a year and a half. Everything joined together and I felt that my heart couldn't hold it anymore and I cried for the first time for my last name.

I decided to leave the tour and remain more time in the camp. I lighted a candle in one of the chapels that I found there and wrote down my name and a short summary of my history in a book. And I remained there to look for what was the main objective of this tour: the documents of prisoner Karol Wajszczuk and his cousin Felix Wajszczuk. And I waited in an office begging that information hadn't been lost or hadn't been destroyed at the end of the war. I found them.

That's was how I returned to München to see my boyfriend, with a feeling of fulfilled dream, the records in my hand, and I left the camp with many emotions beating inside me. Fulfilled mission.

It was one of the most intense days of my life. It was cold, it rained and the day was grey. It seemed that the weather had become accomplice with the whole situation.

Yes it had been: it was the morning September 11th of 2001.

But I came back.