Friday, July 4, 2008

A day to remember

Krakow was sooo hot and muggy and (did I say Hot?)

Our trip was enjoyable, but the weather at the same time made us borderline miserable. We managed a day trip to Auschwitz and Berkanau which was very sad, but extremely hard to grasp.

Here I am waiting for our tour to start.

Most of the exhibits we could not photograph. I think those pictures would be too sad to put on the web anyways.

We walked through bin after bin of shoes, eye glasses, suitcases and clothes. These items were found one the camps were liberated.

Here in the entrance to Auschwitz:

The sign means "Work will set you free". This is complete irony since most of the workers were killed by gas, starvation, disease, gunshot, or experimentation.

The entrance of Birkanau:

Most people brought here saw this last before being sent to the chambers and put to death. Our tour guide described the process in detail which was hard to swallow.

The rail cars would roll up on these tracks and the passengers would unload and then get into one of two lines: women and children; and men.

Each person was evaluated by a german doctor and the were told to go left or right. Right was for working and left was to extermination. However, no one knew this. Most women and almost all children were sent to the gas chamber. The only exception were twins who were used for medical experiments. The poor souls were sent to a room where they were told to undress for a shower. After being filed into a room with fake shower heads, they were locked in (a thousand at a time) and they died within 20 minutes. there is some recollection that the germans had a band play to prevent others hear their screams.

The whole visit was very heart sickening, but it was hard for us to grasp this at the same time. How could 1.5 million people be murdered. It was unreal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Mauri, WOW does this post bring back memories! I was 17 when I visited Auschwitz...I can only describe it as very, very moving. I think every American needs to personally visit one of the concentration camp sites. This is one of the events in my life I can point to and say "that changed me."