Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Auschwitz, Poland


Our first stop in Poland was Auschwitz. This is a place you have to experience. It is really hard to put it into words. Fortunately, I have images to help.

Upon entering Auschwitz you quickly realize that there were 2 main sections of this camp. The first part was the "nice" section as you see below.



These buildings, that once house prisoners, now house museums devoted to the camp. The things is these museums are incredible and horrific. They start you off "easy" showing you piles of luggage, piles of eye glasses, piles of crutches and fake legs and then move on to an entire basketball court sized room with a mountain of shoes on each side of it...



And this wasn't the worst display they had. The ultimate for me was the room full of human hair. They didn't allow pictures in that room and I don't think I could have even taken a picture as I was pretty shaken by the sight.

Also in that section of the camp was the only gas chamber that was still standing and yes, the tour took you through it. Almost as disturbing as the hair was the walls of this chamber...



After the tour of this side of camp ended, they take you to the "bad" side of camp. Most of it is not standing though it is easy to imagine that it hasn't changed since the ally's razed it.



There was a memorial to the Jews on the tracks in the middle of this section and it was an old train car that carried prisoners into the camp and it was adorned with flowers and stacks of rocks that people had left in rememberance.



There is one side of the camp that is still mostly intact. Inside they still had the sleeping arrangements set up and the like.


I will leave you with the most disturbing thing. At one side of the camp is where the 2 huge gas chambers and incinerators were. As you walk around you are stuck by a smell. After a while it hits you what it is. People, I kid you not... You can still smell the ashes...

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