Monday, 23 October 2017

Poland - Thursday (Auschwitz/Birkenau)

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Thursday was a very different day.  We had booked a tour to Auschwitz/Birkenau, the two well-known, but probably most infamous, concentration camps in Poland.

We took the bus early in the morning and walked to Grodzka where our tour bus would wait.  We were fairly early and as it was a chilly morning we went for a cup of coffee to warm ourselves a bit.

At 10am the bus took off to Auschwitz where we arrived approx. 1 hour later.  We were all again given earphones and had a wonderful, respectful and dedicated guide who explained everything in detail.

We went to the gate which still bears the words: Arbeit macht frei (Work sets you free). From there on we walked in and out of several barracks that showed how people 'lived' (better still 'survived' if they did survive at all) in the camps; showed prison and torture cells; and displayed thousands of items stolen, taken from and/or left behind by more than one million inhabitants.  Very few survived to tell their stories, most of them were gassed.

Auschwitz entrance

After this very sobering walk we went back through the entrance gate to the bus after a quick bite to eat.  The next stop was Birkenau.  Here also we saw barracks after barracks and what was left of the gas chambers and crematoriums.

Birkenau: end of the line for many...

No, it was not a fun day, but one that you have to go through once in your lifetime, because only there reality hits home about what kind of animals people can become under certain circumstances and what other people have to endure to just survive and be marked for life, if not physical than mental!

Besides the few pictures above I have not taken any photos, because you just cannot picture sorrow....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.