My Journey to Auschwitz-Birkenau in Photographs


In March, I traveled with my camera to Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland.

As I arrived on the grounds, I felt like I was on a movie set. As my mind slowly comprehended the reality of what happened here, a place of unspeakable pain, I felt the deepest emptiness in my heart that I have ever experienced.

As my boots crunched the same frozen ground where millions of individuals once stood, questions and anger flooded my mind, the shocked silence of human suffering ran through my body.

My eyes gazed on a place where over 1.1 million men, women, and children perished during the Holocaust. Barren trees, witnesses of the past, bordered the camp. Brick remnants stood in the distance, once the shelter of the helpless.

I wandered towards the train tracks. I stood in the exact spot where hundreds were separated from their families. I attempted to imagine this scenario… arriving by train like animals; exhausted, hungry, cold, terrified, to be sorted away from my four siblings and parents. I cannot imagine their fear and vulnerability. The magnitude of evil and reality of human suffering was palpable.

The complex emotions stirred by this memorial and museum serve as lessons for the world. Immersing myself in the experiences of individuals from the past forced me to think about the present. Human suffering will always exist in our world. Human rights are continuously being violated. There are millions of suffering refugees around the globe right this minute.

It is up to all of us to diminishing the suffering of our fellow human beings.

Photography tells the story of the past. I decided to photograph the empty spaces of Auschwitz-Birkenau while walking around these hallowed grounds to reflect human vulnerability, past and present. I will always carry with me the lessons I learned from this day.

Margaret Wroblewski Photography Margaret Wroblewski Photography Margaret Wroblewski Photography Margaret Wroblewski Photography Margaret Wroblewski Photography Margaret Wroblewski Photography Margaret Wroblewski Photography Margaret Wroblewski Photography

Anne Frank’s Escape

“I’ll make my voice heard, Ill go out into the world, and work for mankind.” (11 April 1944)

In the beginning of sixth grade, we read The Diary of Anne Frank. 

On the cover of the red book is a portrait of Anne herself. Her brown hair sits around her fragile face, hands folded on the table below her, smile beaming, and her brown eyes making contact with the viewer.

My fellow classmates came to the conclusion that Anne and I had similar characteristics, so from that point on I was called “Anne” for the rest of the year. In their minds, the resemblance was amusing, entertaining, and hilarious. The joke stuck with me for many years. anne_diary_excerptYesterday, November 16, 2016, I arrived at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam at 7:45 a.m. sharp. I had been looking forward to this moment since sixth grade.

The large brick Visitors Center hovered ahead. Between it and me was a long line of people. However, the Loyola students were fortunate enough to get tickets ahead of time, and so the glass doors automatically opened for us and we stepped into a large white room.

One by one we entered the vast rooms, the kitchen, bedrooms, storage spaces of the house. The atmosphere was stuffy and smelled musty. It was completely silent, no one dared to speak. However, the voices of the past resonated within. I kept walking within the line of visitors from room to staircases to more rooms. Photographs, videos, and audio stories shared the story of the Frank Family.

I entered a smaller room and noticed photographs, magazine cutouts, and quotes. It tookm me a few moments before I realized I was in Anne’s bedroom, and the only thing that was left in this space was what she had hung on the wall…

fdsafsafas-I looked at every single photograph that she had hung. Film stars surrounding her, and photographs of her past. She created her own world within this space. Bound to this room and secrete annex, but her mind had no limits here. Daring to escape through her writing here, she imagined, dreamed, feared, and loved. Here in this very spot she envisioned her perfect life. Her thoughts became her world. She did not let her limits of war become a barrier for her voice. Within the dark currents from the outside, she found her voice within this space.

With one diary and pen she told her story. She is the representation of the millions of young girls who lost their lives during World War II.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 5.23.45 PMAfter reading, reflecting, and visiting the museum exhibited to me how similar we really. She told her story through literature; I tell stories through photography. Writing is her escape; my camera is mine. Her authentic and powerful words of creating a difference manifest within my mind and always will.

Each of us have the role of educating ourselves so that we can construct a better future for generations to come.

Silent Mind

JFDKSLAJFKDLSJFKLSDJAKFAs a junior at Loyola University Maryland, I have come to understand the Jesuit ideals of service and social justice, and the notion that it is all of our responsibility to create a better world.

St. Ignatius Loyola set out to create a world where men and women would be “contemplatives in action,” where we would observe, notice, and take creative action.

The study abroad experience is many things: exciting, inspiring, fun, challenging, eye-opening. It also brings forth tremendous responsibility.

When traveling from place to place, it is easy to get caught up with the adventure in it all. It is easy to only notice the most well-known landmarks. But each destination has its own complicated problems that need to be addressed by and exposed to the rest of the world.

Walking and exploring the beautiful sights of Paris, I noticed dozens of women and children begging on the streets. Passing each of them, I wanted to know their story, how they got there, and if they could be anywhere else, where would they be?

The image of these children and women has stayed with me and led me to much reflection.

Why was I given this opportunity and not them? What can I do? How can my Loyola education help? How can I make a difference?

I wrote this piece for them, attempting to give them a voice.


The Silent Mind

She sits on a mattress, a child in her arms, burying its face into her breast, sleeping. Her weary back leans against the cold Pont Des Arts Bridge. Her hands shake back and forth as she holds the cup before her. Back and forth, the ringing of the three euros in the cup resonate only in her ears. Around her everyone notices her, a quick glance, a second of pity, but they just keep walking.

A herd of tourist, all wearing red “I love Paris” T-shirts come closer. One lifts a camera, points it towards her, and flashes. Her eyes overwhelmed with whiteness and tears.

She is blinded from the world around her. Her heartbroken brown eyes gaze up at the sky, seeking contact with God. A dirty sheet covers her bruised legs. Love locks surround her and the unknown baby. Irony of Love, from the world to their own world on the mattress.

Her mind begins to wander, envisioning the mattress as a magic carpet, just as Aladdin’s. Now she can escape. She flies on the magic mattress across the Eiffel Tower. Her hand reaches out to touch the top of the shimmering metal tower. She flies onward, over the breathtaking mountains of Interlaken. Switzerland. Then the Great Pyramid of Giza. Then Hagia Sophia. Then the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Then the White House.

She keeps flying, running away, observing everything about the world below her. The people resemble ants, she mashes them with her shaking hands. Squishing them on the grounds of the affliction and the pain they have permanently caused her. Now. Away from her fear. Away from her pain. Away from the tourists and their flashing cameras. Away from the hunger. Away from the humiliation. Away.

Another camera flash explodes in front of her brown eyes.

Thanks for reading! Check out my website here for more blog posts and videos.


10 Things I Miss about Home (Loyola)

Studying abroad in Leuven, Belgium, has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life…

I have been here for one month, exploring Belgium and Europe with the other 13 Loyola students in our group.

We have been to Normandy, Paris, Versailles, Saint-Malo, and St. Michel, France; Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany; and Dinant, Brussels, Bruges, and Gent, Belgium.

As awesome as my adventures in Europe have been so far, I find myself missing Loyola. Hanging above my bed at the Loyola International House is my green Loyola University Maryland flag. Every single day I see the flag, and the thought of Loyola comes to mind…

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Loyola’s Underground Secret

Not all those who wander are lost.

It is easy for Loyola students to stay within the boundaries of the Evergreen campus.

We get lost among work, activities, meetings, a social life, and we do not take time to explore the area surrounding Baltimore.

During the last week of school last year, a group of friends and I decided to explore the Evergreen Museum, which is located right next to Loyola’s campus.

We were wandering through the woods when we discovered this underground secret…

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Humans of Loyola

Last year, Humans of New York became a well-known blog throughout the world, inspiring other universities across the country to create a “humans” blog of their own.

My friends, Julia D’Agostino, Joey Dwyer, and Tim Attolino, and I decided to start the movement here at Loyola.

Joey and Tim are the writers and interviewers. Julia and I are the photographers. Continue reading

Hidden Emotion

The friends that I have met at Loyola University Maryland are the most respectable, wholesome, caring individuals that have come into my life. Each of them is exceptional in their own way. Their morals and religious beliefs make me a stronger human being. Their experiences, humor, and friendship motivate me to accomplish all that I can in my lifetime. They are absolutely exquisite human beings that deserve everything they aspire to be.

However, every single one of them carries certain burdens that are not revealed to the world on a daily basis. They constantly disguise their emotions because of the fear of being judged. There is tremendous struggle within.

I decided to create a video that allowed for a safe sanctuary for them to express their deepest personal struggles. Continue reading


Look for the beauty in ordinary things. College students are constantly in a hurry. Rushing from class, sports practice, studying, eating, etc. We are constantly worrying about what we should be doing next. As young adults we should attempt to take in every moment. In my everyday life, I try to treasure every moment. There is countless beauty that is hidden in our universe. Every time a notice something beautiful and intrinsic I snap a photo of it. Below is a collection of my photographs that I have taken with just my iPhone over the past week.

Cape Cod

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Measurement of Success

As individual human beings, we each have our own unique, evolving perceptions of success; therefore, the definition of infinite success is personal and relies heavily upon an individual’s culture, experiences, and environment. In a world comprised of approximately seven billion people, finding a universal definition or measurement for success it difficult to achieve.

There are three key actions that we must continually pursue during our quest towards our personal success: finding one’s passions, welcoming new experiences, and accepting failure. Continue reading