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  • I repeatedly found myself thinking, "How can this place be so beautiful?" One thing that all of the camps had in common was their astounding pulchritude (I use that word, not to be a tool, but because it sounds hideous, like the camps were "supposed to be"). I think our tour guide, Jared from the Galicia Museum in Krakow, described the sensation the best when he said that when he visited Auschwitz, he felt like he was on a movie set. When all you see is black and white photos of SS officers and victims, it's hard to remember that these places have the same seasons as the world around them, that these spaces don't contain the memory. You expect to be walking into a tomb, but when you get there, you see flowers and blue sky and rolling hills. It's very unsettling.
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