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By Sandra Keil, PSA Alumni Fall 2013 

This image illustrates the feeling I had when I saw Auschwitz I for the first time. It is a paradox: the life of the trees and the green meadows are worlds away from the terror that happened behind the barbed wire fence. We visited in October, the peak of striking fall leaves. Before our visit, I could not imagine Auschwitz as anything but grey and drab, but natural beauty unavoidably colored it. A brown rabbit ran and jumped through the destroyed barracks in Birkenau, his freedom and wildness in contrast with the state of the people who were confined there. The picture I took represents the inner struggle I had when I was walking through Auschwitz, and the reflection I took with me when I went back home.

Sandra Keil is a Master’s student in Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University. She is currently writing her thesis about Arab Israelis in the Israeli army. She was born in Berlin and is a member of a socialist movement, called the Falcons, which holds seminars, trips and group meetings with kids and teenagers on sexism, racism and anti-Semitism, among other topics.

The Auschwitz Jewish Center is operated by the Museum in Oświęcim, Poland. For additional blog entries by and about the Auschwitz Jewish Center, please visit All Fall 2013 newsletter articles are found here.