Auschwitz Challenge


Dear pilgrim:

How have you rested?

I hope very well, although I know that yesterday's spiritual work is not always easy. Doing family “caving” is not always pleasant because on more than one occasion one comes across an injury. But, on the other hand, how much we have to be thankful for because if we are here it is because other people chose us and took us forward.

Once you get to Deventer, I offer to take a tour with you through its wonderful places. Besides being a good taxi driver, I also love hiking and take advantage of my days off to breathe fresh air on the banks of the IJseel River.

Surely on the train you will contemplate Esperanza landscapes that will leave you speechless and will lift your soul. It was what happened to Etty. When she needed a break from her university life in Amsterdam, she would visit her parents who had settled in Deventer years ago. There, his father Louis, became director of the institute ("gym" they called it there) and the family found a little more stability. Etty's parents just dropped out their home when the armed forces forced them to leave ... and they never came back. Currently, the high school in this city is called "Etty Hillesum" and there it is possible to find the research center on Etty Hillesum.










Returning to what we said before - how much I speak! If I bore you, tell me and shut up a bit- really the beauty of nature helped Etty understand that no one could ever take away the freedom of any human being because we would always have the possibility of looking at the sky ... A sky that was the same for those who were interned in the concentration camps and for those who were outside. The flowers, the trees ... everything speaks of how life is beautiful despite everything. In short, Etty found in nature a good reason to kneel, which was the quintessential body gesture of this young woman.

 Another man who exercised his freedom in the Auschwitz concentration camp was the Franciscan Maximiliano Kolbe. A prisoner escaped and the Nazi authorities, as a lesson to the rest of the inmates, chose ten people from the barracks to die of thirst and hunger in the bunker of death. Kolbe was not chosen among those ten, but he was a cursed dungeon… why?

Well, I don't want to anticipate anything. I simply tell you that what happened was, again, the manifestation of heroic love in the midst of the darkness of evil. Cruelty trembles when good appears.

But hey ...

So, dear pilgrim, 




Enjoy this city that saw Etty Hillesum grow up as a teenager.



Two youngster from the diocese's Youth Ministry delegation help us to understand a bit better the war conflict that frames the writings of Etty and other of his contemporaries.



Inma, who enjoys nature very much together with her husband Manuel, is with us again today. So we asked her about the importance of nature to Etty Hillesum.






Pilar offers us a suggestive approach to the figure of the Franciscan Maximiliano Kolbe, who exchanged his life for that of a prisoner who was going to be sent to the bunker of death. A hero in the midst of horror.

06. Your concentration camp

Today we are going to offer “your concentration camp” a cry of hope in the form of a poem:

"Games of the sky wet the

early morning of the violent city.

She breathes for us.


We are the ones who ignited love

so that it lasts,

so that it survives all loneliness.

We have burned fear,

we have looked face to face

with pain before deserving this hope

We have opened the windows

to give him a thousand faces "

 07. Greate enigma of Auschwitz Challenge

In each of the stages we will offer you some clues so that at the end of the itinerary you can solve who is the mysterious character of this Auschwitz Challenge.

Today's clue is: He lived practically his entire life in the 20th


To move on to the next stage, your personal driver wants to know if you have made good use of what you have experienced today. Therefore, here is a short questionnaire to be able to buy your ticket to the next place.


Extra material

RECipe of the Day: Dutch vegetable soup

  • 150 grams of minced pork

  • 150 grams of minced beef

  • 1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs

  • 1 teaspoon of nutmea

  • 1 teaspoon of de salt

  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper

  • 1 liter of broth

  • 200 grams of green beans and assorted vegetables


If you have decided to make this delicious Dutch vegetable soup, you will see that it is very easy and simple to make and you will have it made in a few minutes. The first thing you have to do are the meatballs, so you must take a bowl and add the minced meat of both pork and veal along with the breadcrumbs, salt, black pepper and nutmeg. With the help of your hands, knead everything until you get a homogeneous dough that you can handle without problems. Make small meatballs the size of a marble and reserve in a source until you finish with all the minced meat. Then you should start heating the vegetable broth in a saucepan until it starts to boil. Take the vegetables you want such as carrots, peppers, aubergines and cut into julienne. Remember that vegetables should be fresh and in season and avoid frozen ones. Add the julienned vegetables to the stock and simmer for about 20 minutes or so. Now is the time to gradually add the meatballs and leave for a couple of minutes. When the meatballs float to the surface, you can turn off the heat and let it rest for a few minutes.







To meditate, pray, internalize and increase our love for Mary, let's read this precious writing by Saint Maximilian Maria Kolbe: