Between Vienna and Salzburg we stopped at a concentration camp called Mauthausen. It had special meaning for me as my Grandfather was part of the 11th Armored division that liberated this camp at the end of WWII. He had pictures that he took when he was there. I only saw them once as a child and they were frightening.
It was peaceful, terrifying and sad all at the same time. It's almost unimaginable how humans can treat other humans. It was difficult not to cry when you are standing in a gas chamber. This camp was especially heinous as it was a forced labor camp. The prisoners were made to work in a quarry and carry 50 pound stones up hundreds of stairs out of the quary. If you stumbled, you were shot or pushed off the edge of a cliff to your death. If you made it up the stairs, they gave you the choice of getting shot, or pushing the prisoner next to you off the cliff. Grandpapa, I know you were away from your family, but your time away was not in vain. Spending time following the path of my Grandfather's division makes me so proud of the work those men and women did. We are a great country and we do intend to do good.