He walked across the bleak expanse of what was once the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, toward the gas chamber that had been stocked with liquid Zyklon B, and posed the question that still strains the conscience of modern German society.
“How was it possible?” Osman Jamo asked.
Yet he also wondered why the site, where barbed wire and guard towers stood dark against the brilliant sunshine of a summer afternoon in this town north of Berlin, had been preserved at all.
“Maybe the Jews want to keep these places going so they can be seen as victims forever,” he said of Sachsenhausen, which was mainly used for political prisoners but by the beginning of 1945 held 11,100 Jews.
Jamo’s response is not the usual reaction to Europe’s postwar conversion of concentration camps into memorials and museums, places of atonement and civic education that ask visitors never to forget the Nazi past.
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