+
upworthy
More

Pope Francis paid a silent visit to Auschwitz, and the photos are powerful.

From 1942 to 1944, at least 1.1 million people were killed at the Nazi concentration camp known as Auschwitz.

Many of us learn about this in history class or see the horrifying grainy, black and white photographs of human beings lined up for execution.

Images like those are haunting and important to see, but no experience can come close to actually visiting the camp, which now operates as a memorial to those who were killed inside its gates.



The German phrase above the entrance gate translates to "Work sets you free." Photo by Keystone/GettyImages.

On July 29, 2016, Pope Francis visited Auschwitz for the first time. He didn't speak a single word on record, but the images of his visit speak for themselves.

Auschwitz was home to one of the darkest chapters in modern human history, and today it's a reminder of the ugliness of hate.

More than 70 years after Auschwitz was liberated, there are still many who deny that the Holocaust ever happened. In 2016, we're dealing with an ongoing refugee crisis and vocal anti-immigrant sentiment as the result of xenophobia rocketing through Europe and the United States — stark reminders that the ugliness of hate is not something left in the past.

The striking visual of the Pope walking alone, his head hung low in somber prayer and reflection, through streets that were once filled with the dead and the dying, shows how very real it was.

Pope Francis entering Auschwitz. Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images.

His visit is a reminder that we shouldn't ever let this happen again.

Photo by Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images.

Pope Francis spent the first minutes of his visit to Auschwitz sitting on a bench praying, according to a report in The Guardian.

Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images.

He also spent several minutes alone in the cell of Maximilian Kolbe, a priest who volunteered to take the place of a prisoner selected for death. Kolbe died on Aug. 14, 1941, and was later canonized by Pope John Paul II.

Pope Francis met and prayed with several Holocaust survivors, paid a visit to neighboring concentration camp Birkenau, and prayed with Poland's chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich.

Photo by Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images.

Before leaving, he signed the guestbook with a simple and powerful message that speaks to religion as something that should bring us together, not set us apart.

“Lord, have pity on your people," Pope Francis wrote. "Lord, forgive so much cruelty.”

Photo by Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images.


Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

Keep ReadingShow less

Kellogg's CEO tells people to eat cereal to save money

It doesn't matter if you're a single adult or married with children, there's nothing quite like having cereal for dinner or a late night snack once in a while.

Something about it feels nostalgic but it's also really easy to fall back on when you're too exhausted to cook a full meal. There's nothing wrong with grabbing a bowl of cereal for a meal outside of breakfast. You're feeding yourself or your family a food that contains some of the vitamins a body needs.

Maybe that's the thought process Kellogg's CEO Gary Pilnick was going with when he unintentionally sparked some serious backlash. Pilnick was interviewed by CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" discussing the cereal giant's new commercial featuring Tony the Tiger. The commercial itself isn't really the problem. It features a mom holding a box of cereal with kids excitedly awaiting their cereal for dinner chanting along with Tony the Tiger's call to eat the sweet meal.

The backlash came followeing Pilnick's comments about why his company felt the need to create a commercial advocating families eating cereal for diner.

Keep ReadingShow less


We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Monica Lewinsky reclaims the office power suit in new voting campaign

The activist teamed with apparel brand Reformation to combat voter frustration in a fabulous way.

Lewinsky partnered with Reformation for their "You've Got The Power" voting campaign

Monica Lewinsky knows a thing or two about reinvention.

The former White House intern became the source of media obsession after her affair with former President Bill Clinton become public. It solidified her place in history against her will, but through her actions since, Lewinsky has transformed her public persona into a feminist icon and champion of a powerful anti-bullying campaign.

Now, the 50-year-old Lewinsky is lending her household name to sustainable fashion brand Reformation and Vote.org in hopes to encourage people to vote this year.
Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Don't worry, Wendy's isn't raising prices during the busiest times. But changes are coming.

People were very upset after hearing that surge pricing may come to the local drive-thru.

A combo meal from Wendy's.

In a world where prices are continuously increasing, prominent companies are turning to surge pricing to raise prices even further during peak demand times. Uber charges people more for a ride when demand is high. Hotels have been changing prices based on demand for years and Amazon uses AI to keep prices constantly in flux.

Recently, Ticketmaster, known for charging high fees, has been charging customers even more for tickets as demand rises.

On Monday, February 26, news reports began circulating that Wendy’s, America's 5th most popular fast-food chain, would implement dynamic pricing at its restaurants. Many assumed that meant a Dave’s Double burger would cost an extra $3 during dinner time or medium fries would cost an extra buck during the lunch rush.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

What is in its 'golden age' but not enough people know about it?

There's so much good out there if you know where to look.

Canva

From astronomy to knitting, some fields of human endeavor are having a heyday.

When you peruse the news headlines or dive into discussions on current events on social media, it's pretty easy to feel despondent. Doom and gloom sells, unfortunately, and our natural negativity bias that's meant to protect us can be overworked by a 24/7 bombardment of humanity's challenges.

There is an anecdote to all of that, though: Curating and cultivating the good. Sometimes it's just knowing where to look to find examples of problems being solved, discoveries being made, innovation taking huge leaps and other evidence that humans are moving our collective life forward in incredible ways.

Someone on Reddit asked, "What is currently in its 'Golden age,' but not enough people know about it?" and thousands of people responded. Reading through the answers is an enlightening and uplifting glimpse of things we might not personally be involved with but are happy to see having a heyday. Like, who wouldn't like to know that we're in a golden age of astronomy and paleontology. Space and dinosaurs? It's like realizing our 5-year-old selves' ideal future.

Keep ReadingShow less