Auschwitz January 24, 2012

February 05, 2013

In front of the infamous 'arbeit macht frei' (labour makes free) sign. This is actually a duplicate because the actual sign was once stolen. Also, I did not mean to pose and take a picture. This was me standing there so my boyfriend could take a subtle picture. We thought we were not allowed to take pictures but apparantly we were (except for one room).

This post has been a long time coming but I feel like it's such a delicate subject so it really had to have it's place, I feel. I didn't post yesterday because of this and I won't be posting tomorrow. I will not express my opinions or personal thoughts in this post but only facts that were told by our guide.

Around this time last year, my boyfriend and me visited the concentration camps in Auschwitz, Poland. We had the opportunity to go along with a military visit to pay respects (they do this every year). It isn't something fun or something you enjoy but it is a big part of world history and I recommend everyone to go when you have the chance. We were there for a day and we visited both Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. We walked in groups with a guide. The guide spoke into a microphone which was connected to our headphones so he wouldn't have to make much noise. Our guide's grandfather was brought to Auschwitz so the reason he took this job was very personal. I'll be sharing a few of the things he said in each of these places.

I hope no one feels offended by this post and please do not comment anything controversial. This is not meant as a reaction on the things that happened but to share my experience.


'Houses' in Auschwitz I. Many of the houses were made into museums. These were cells where hundreds of people had to live together. There was an area for women and one for men. I also want to add that we visited while it was -10°C (14 °F) and there was obviously no heating. Still, these were the best ones you could've stayed in because these had brick walls. In Auschwitz II, there were only wooden baracks.


This was one of the displays in the houses from above. A SMALL fraction of all of the glasses that were found when the red army liberated the camps. There were several other displays like these. The ones that shocked me most were protheses and children clothes. The one room we weren't allowed to take pictures in was a room filled with human hair that was found. 


This was one of the gas chambers. There were holes in the ceiling that were used to drop poison through.


This was the room next to the one above. I think it speaks for itself.


This is a tiny fraction of Auschwitz II-Birkenau. It is a gigantic place with more houses and barracks. Lots of them are still intact, others have been destroyed. 


There used to be gas chambers here as well. The place where a bit of water had been frozen was a grave.


This is probably the most typical image people have. All of the barracks were like this. It was very dark and really small. Up to ten people had to sleep in one 'box' and it wasn't much deeper then what you see here.


This was ment as the bathroom. Between work, groups of people got twenty minutes here. Our guide told us this actually served as the black market because the guards would wait outside, disgusted by the smell.


This is the last picture I want to share. These tracks go all the way through Auschwitz II-Birkenau. People arrived here with trains. Some of you might recognize this from the movie Schindler's list but actually, the movie was shot on the other side of the 'station' out of respect for this place. 

You can obviously express your feelings but please only do this in a non-controversial manner with respect for what happened and other people.

12 comments:

  1. All I can say is that these photos are breathtaking
    xo

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  2. This is an incredible post, thank you so much for sharing with those of us who haven't ever been (and may or may not ever get the chance to experience it.)

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  3. I had the opportunity to see Aushwitz two years ago when I was in Poland, my firm belief is that every person should see it. You're pictures are beautiful, but there is no way to truly convey the feeling of being there.

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  4. I agree with you that it may not be a "fun" trip, but it is important and everyone should go if they have the opportunity. Your photographs are beautiful.

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  5. ik vind dit een heel mooie en respectvolle post over een heel zwaar en moeilijk onderwerp. Mij raakte het, en ik vind het goed dat je het niet oversentimenteel hebt gebracht. Deze hele zaak is sowieso sentimenteel, daar hoeft niet mee geschermd te worden. Erg verfrissend ook dat een blogger hier rekening mee houdt, ik vind het altijd vreemd als mensen cutesy poseren bij herdenkingsmonumenten en dergelijke en dat zie ik maar al te vaak.

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  6. Ik denk dat ik gecomment heb maar door in te loggen zie ik het nu niet meer. In ieder geval: heel sterke post, en ik heb respect voor de manier waarop je dit zo no nonsense maar sereen hebt gebracht. Enorm emotioneel onderwerp natuurlijk, en de droge toon benadrukt dat alleen maar.

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  7. I went here about a week ago as part of a College trip.
    It's really hard to describe exactly how I felt that day, everyone could barely sad a word as everything around us was really hard to take in.
    The part that really got to me was the human hair. I felt physically sick just seeing so much of it and what was done to it after.
    People need to know about Auschwitz despite it being a very emotional place to be. We all need to learn that this must never happen again.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts x

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  8. Just looking at these photos is horrifying -I still can't believe that humans put other humans through such a terrible and awful thing. It's haunting that we keep it up, but I also understand history and that having it around is a reminder of what can happen if we all get too greedy/evil/something. This must have been a hard trip to make.

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  9. Een van de meest indrukwekkende dagen uit mijn leven toen ik hier liep. De vitrine met haar vond ik echt heel moeilijk om naar te kijken.

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  10. These pictures are haunting but I also agree it's important to see and thank you for sharing for those who of us who haven't seen it.

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  11. this is beautiful.... i think it's so so important to remember things like this. remember the horrible things that we, as humans, have done to one another in this world - because the moment these things are forgotten, is the moment they happen again....

    thank you for sharing. quite emotional.

    jamie
    inconsistency rang the horse

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  12. I agree with everything you said - everyone needs to go at some point in their lives. I went early last fall and it was life changing. Thank you for sharing your pictures.

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Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love to read what you have to say and I promise I'll visit back soon xoxo

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