In September 2017, my aunt, granddaughter of my great-great uncle Francisco, her daughter, with her husband, and I embarked on a trip.
We went to Mauthausen and these were my feelings:
MAUTHAUSEN, extermination camp, you cannot bear the tears that flow slowly down your cheeks. You try to pretend, but everytime you go inside and think about what you have seen, what they tell you and what they had experienced, it is impossible to endure.
For him, we planned this journey.
We wanted to see with our own eyes where he was held.
We pass through those doors where they put everyone and made them take off their clothes. With hairs on end and shivering because you are feeling something which you do not know how to explain.
We take photos and videos of everything. We do not want to leave anything out. We want to take back a valuable memory of where he spent the last years of life.
We went over to another site where we could see several living quarters, three of them, on which there were the numbers, 11, 12 and 13. They told us that it was here they kept the Spaniards. There were over 2000 people.
I went towards one of those quarters, number 11. As I approached, I was preparing myself to climb the wooden stairs.
I leaned over very slowly to look inside to see what it was like and to imagine how bad things were there.
I entered slowly. It made me shiver terribly. It gave me goose pimples. The smell, the smell which we breathed in was as if they were still there.
A smell of sickness from the bad treatment they received; their open wounds from the torture inflicted on them daily.
Sensing all this, I could imagine the suffering that, like his companions, my great-great uncle had gone through.
Kisses to you wherever you are