Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Auschwitz / Birkenau

Monday last week, I visited one of the most infamous places on Earth: the nazis' exterminations camps of Auschwitz, near Krakow. I considered not visiting them for a long time, but finally decided to go. This place is a sad place but it is worth visiting it. We should not forget the past... The sad thing is there are still stupids following those shitty ideas...

Auschwitz was composed of 4 different camps. Two of them were preserved after the Soviet army entered Poland and Germany: Auschwitz I and the nearby Birkenau. These two places are UNESCO World Heritage.

Auschwitz I was the original extermination camp and it is not very large in size. Buildings are also quite close to each other and there is still one of the crematories and gas chambers in site. Many of the buildings are a museum now. Some buildings are horrifying... There is one with all the goods belonging to Jewish people brought there. Thousands of shoes, suitcases and any item you can imaging. However, the most horrible view is a room where the hair of the corpses was and is kept. Nazis used hair from corpses in gas chamber for the fabrication of many goods. That image was hard to take...

At the entrance of the camp you find this motto: Arbeit Macht Frei -- Work makes you free... No comments...

For the rest of the photos, I will omit any comments judge by yourself.

Birkenau is very different. It was designed when nazis decided to exterminate the Jewish race from Earth. For that reason, it is huge. Up to 100000 people lived there at the same time. It is composed of hundreds of big barracks where slaves slept, like these ones:

This is the interior of one of those barracks. People used to sleep on those "shelves":

At the back of the camp there were two huge gas chambers and crematories. The SS tried to destroy the evidence of what they had been doing there before Soviets arrived there. They used TNT to destroy the gas chambers but did not completely succeed. Currently, the rumble in which they were turn into is still there. It is sad to think around 1 million people were killed only in this part of the extermination camps...

A hair-raising view of this area of the camp are the train tracks leading from the entrance to the gas chambers. Jewish and other minorities were brought to Auschwitz directly to die in the gas chambers. These tracks have seen so many people about to be killed. The image of the gate of the extermination camp (seen so many times in the movies) is also quite impressive.

So you know, don't forget history!! Let's not make the same mistakes again!!


Sergio y Nat said...

Quite a moving post this one... Your sepia-coloured pictures fit perfectly with the sadness of Auschwitz' memories.

Oye, vi que me linkaste. Voy a hacer lo propio :)


Alvaro said...

Sergio, thanks for your comment on Auschwitz!

Si, ayer actualice los links y por supuesto habia que poner ese Twee Tulpen ahi! :)

Linkame linkame! Gracies!