A German Hotel on the Grounds of a Concentration Camp

Ebunoluwa Akinbode - Senegal


March 11, 2018

Imagine that. Imagine there being an
entrance fee to enter the concentration camp. Imagine Germans being given a discounted price, Europeans paying slightly more, and all others (even descendants of Holocaust survivors who don’t live in Germany or Europe) paying the highest entrance fee. Imagine entering what you thought would be a sacred place, and being accosted by sellers who swear that the bracelets they’re showing you were made with authentic concentration camp rocks. Imagine Germans staying in German made hotels situated right on the concentration camp. Imagine their children running around merry and carefree, using the camp as their personal playground. Imagine the German government creating random arbitrary checkpoints where you constantly have to pay some random fee. Imagine a descendant of a holocaust survivor staring at one of the places where the Jews were held in inhumane conditions, trying to process what they must have felt, trying to give them the respect they deserve, and being interrupted by some random German couple trying to take some cliché artsy pic to show how thoughtful and woke they are about the Jews.
Now take this image, and instead of a
concentration camp, picture Gorée Island. Picture an island that thrived off of the inhumane imprisonment and sale of slaves. Think of staring at the cramped holes that slaves were dumped into as you’re being told of how the French would live above the slaves and pretend to not hear their suffering, and in that same moment hearing little French kids running merrily upstairs. Picture a descendent of the slaves at Gorée paying more to enter than even the French who are able to claim to be living in Senegal. Picture the site of such a tragedy, where human beings became PROPERTY, where even the RELIGIOUS used their God to justify their lapse in humanity, where FAMILIES were ripped apart, where PEOPLE were TORTURED, where HUMANS were taken advantage of at the hands of other HUMANS, where GENERATIONS and GENERATIONS of a people were ripped away from their HOMES to the point where many can’t even trace back where they came from. Such a place deserves respect, deserves peace, deserves to not be occupied by the very descendents that caused their suffering, deserves to be much more than what it’s become- a tourist trap.

Ebunoluwa Akinbode