Friday, September 12, 2014

Visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau

Today we took a tour to the Auschwitz concentration camp. We are only about 60 kilometers away and there are multiple companies doing tours. It was a sobering day, being in a place that we have read so much about. The numbers on the wall said that 1,300,000 persons were deported to this place, about 1,100,000 of them Jews. The rest were Poles, Gypsies and others.

The main Auschwitz location is now a museum. There are displays throughout the buildings. Below is a photo of a row of the barracks. We went into multiple buildings and saw many things. Some were too horrific to photograph or talk about.

Bunks where prisoners were crowded two or more per bunk

Barbed wire and guard tower
Along the halls were photos of inmates, giving their birthdate (if known), deportation date and death date. Most of the death dates were only one to three months after deportation.

This wall in the courtyard is where prisoners who disobeyed or were perceived to be against the Germans were executed.

Toilet room for prisoners
After leaving Auschwitz, our bus took us to Birkenau, also called Auschwitz II, only a few kilometers away. This is the place where many trains brought the carloads of people who were marched into the gas chambers and cremated.

Entrance gate to Birkenau with opening for train cars
Birkenau was huge. Many of the buildings are preserved, although the Germans blew up the crematoria when they realized that the Allies were coming. Dan walked with the tour group but I didn't; the amount of standing and walking had worn me out. Below is a view of the railroad tracks going into the center of the camp.

We are very glad that we did this tour. It leaves us with much to contemplate. The inhumanity of humanity is beyond comprehension.

1 comment:

  1. Very kill people because of their ethnicity or religion. But it is still happening; that's why it's even more sobering.


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