Auschwitz is a name that needs no introduction and no explanation. It is a name that will forever be remembered in infamy.

Auschwitz II, about a mile down the road, is not as known. It is usually referred to as "Birkenau," which means birch tree, for all those trees in this region that continue to camouflage this gargantuan location of misery, torture and murder.

Auschwitz was the concentration camp, while Birkenau was the largest of six death camps in Poland. Almost every person who was brought here would be murdered in one of its four massive complexes of gas chamber-crematorium. Most were dead before they knew what had hit them.

It is still impossible to process the enormity of this placeWhen one enters this place, through the still intact train tracks under that tower-like structure, one can simply not see how long and far it goes, for it is so incredibly massive. Sixty cattle cars, following a huge train engine, would easily fit completely into this camp. And that was but the platform area. When one looks to the sides past the platform area, one also does not see just how sickeningly expansive this place is, because it so sickeningly expansive.

There is so much here. The sheer size of this place is overwhelming. Just to see everything would take a full day. And all this for what? To have enough room to eradicate, to exterminate, all the Jewish people of the world. As many times as I have been here, it is still impossible to properly process the enormity of this place. If you have never been here, nothing can help you imagine it.

We were at Birkenau twice this past week. On both days, I did something I had never done here, in order to enhance the understanding of what this place represents: I joined a survivor and I walked for miles, literally, to each of the four corners of Birkenau. My feet still hurt from so much walking.

On one of the days, we followed one of our survivors, Jimmy – as he was named upon arrival to the United States. Jimmy, originally from a small town in Romania called "Satu Maru," (or Satmar) did not stay long here, just for three weeks. He was eventually sent to Mathausen, an especially cruel camp in Austria. How cruel? His father was beaten to death with a stick in Mathausen before his very eyes. Why? Because there were too many Jews in the camp, and they had to eliminate ten or twenty inmates. Jimmy's father was randomly chosen for extermination. When Jimmy started screaming, the SS told him: One more sound out of you, and you'll be next.

Yet, in these three weeks of being held in Birkenau, Jimmy was able to feel the brunt of the so called life to which the Nazis exposed the Jewish people.

Jimmy took us to the actual barrack in which he was held. The barrack, originally designed as a horse stable, had bunks set up upon which slept the inmates. There was a section, which today is exactly like it was then, that does not have any bunks. It is about twenty feet of open space. As this barrack was in the holding section of Birkenau, many were not there to stay, just to be shipped out to the next stop.

Jimmy broke down when he described the suffering of his fatherBeing in transition, the inmates in these particular places were hardly allotted any food, and, as in Jimmy's case, no bed either. They received food only on the fifth day there, while they still had to work the normal work shift.

Jimmy showed us how 200 people had to fit into this area of about twenty feet by ten feet. There was no room for them to lie. They would sleep half standing against the walls of the barrack.

How utterly miserable. We can all imagine how awful these three weeks must have been, but Jimmy had an even bigger problem: His father. Jimmy does not cry often, but he broke down when he described the suffering of his father. As a fifteen-year-old kid, we would all feel this way.

Jimmy stayed in this barrack for a while alone after we left. He was back with his memories and his thoughts. I decided to see for myself what the process was like once arriving to this terrible place of destruction.

There is a building, far removed from the train tracks and gas chambers, which was called the "Sauna." It was so called for into here they brought all the clothing looted from the hapless victims. Big machines are still present, in which the clothing was disinfected as part of the process of preparing them for shipment back to Germany to sell.

It was in here that they did the same with humans.

In this self-guided building, one arrives at a big processing hall. Here were brought those who were not gassed to be registered and then tattooed. Hair was removed in the next room, and clothing in the next. After this, it was shower time and then special uniform time. By the time the inmates left this complex, even their closest relatives would have a tough time recognizing them. They were but a number.

Continuing to walk, well past this complex, one finds two more crematoriums, both bombed but clearly visible. There are many ash pits, today, for the most part, filled with natural water. One of them is so big, it looks like a small lake.

To an unsuspecting victim, it may have looked like something peaceful and sereneAnd there are so many trees. To an unsuspecting victim, it may have looked like something peaceful and serene. It still does – until one realizes that the beauty of the trees may still be from the rich fertilization supplied by murdered Jewish victims. And then it becomes nauseating.

Talking of trees, there is a student with us who, upon reaching the end of the platform area, saw a strange looking tree that caught his eye. For whatever reason, he felt, deep inside, that this tree represented something terrible. A vision of a relative came to his mind – this relative is a survivor that is, thank heavens, still alive. And this student began to sob. He later asked his mother to inquire of this relative about this tree. Upon hearing about the shape of the tree, the uncle said that when he arrived in Birkenau, someone told him that he looked too young. This man went behind this very same tree and placed rocks in his shoes in order to look taller.

Some sixty-five years later, his relative discovered him right there, in Auschwitz.

We had a long talk after this. The student was quite shaken up. We talked about spiritual energy and feelings that last and linger.

And we talked about the power of good: If such ill feelings can be felt so many years later – by this student, by Jimmy, and, essentially, by us all – then the power of good, infinitely more powerful than evil, can certainly be felt everywhere.

It is just up to us, survivors and those who listen to survivors, to choose the right and correct path of goodness, and then we will fill up the entire world, and all its feelings, with goodness.