Austria Excursion Essay

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Concentration at Camp Throughout my travels, I have experienced many different things but my most memorable and life changing event occurred when I traveled to Austria with the People to People program. The trip was designed to give me and the other participants a chance to go and play our respective sports against players the same age from different countries. The freedom to play basketball and interact with people from various places throughout the US as well as the 9 different countries we competed against was amazing, yet no game could compare to the off-court experience that I had only read about in history books and watched on TV. The program had scheduled to take the group to the Mauthausen concentration camp, which was located up in the mountains. I will never forget that day, the weather was rainy and cold, and there was an overall dark and dreary atmosphere throughout the whole camp. The tour started off with a short clip of the history of the camp, a five minute clip that drew so much of my attention that is seemed like time slowed down and I experienced every frame individually. After watching the clip, we were allowed to walk around and the first thing I saw was a crudely made containment structure that was specially designed for the Jews that were of higher power such as rabbis and other people with authority. I also remember as soon as we entered the crematorium, I smelled what I thought was burnt human remains, even though the oven hadn’t been used in years. From that moment on that day turned from less of a field trip to an experience that would mold an honest dedication to philanthropy. As we continued the tour outside, I saw what looked like a cavern about a hundred yards deep and four football fields wide in-between a rock wall. I was instructed to walk further toward the edge and look down. There I saw what appeared to be a rather small

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