Travel Blogs from Bielsko-Biala
We took an early morning tour to the concentration camps Auschwitzt and Birkenau in Oswiecim 70 km West of Krakow. I have some knowledge of the atrocities of the occupying Nazis during the war but the detail and extent of the program was a revelation. In short, more than 1,200,000 people were killed at these camps alone. Originally built to control and exterminate Poles, it soon took in prisoners from over 20 European countries. The vast ...
... in fabric to lower the production cost. While still on the tour we had a quick bus trip over to the Birkenau camp. Where the cattle trains filled with the Jews would pull up, a quick selection would be made, then not even an hour after their arrival a majority would be asked to undress and enter the showers, never to be seen again. After such an emotional day, neither of us where up for much conversation, so we decided on driving until night fall to find a place to park ...
... knew a far bit we came to appreciate how much we still had to learn.
It took until the next day to be able to share our feelings and one of the responses we had was to think about the UN's slow or ineffectual response in places like Rwanda, East Timor, The Balkans etc and wonder what we have really learned.
I think we can also hear some of the rhetoric that allowed German people to accept ...
... the building where the "Angel of Death", Dr Josef Mengler conducted his experiments using people as guinea pigs. We also walked through the gas chamber and saw the holes in the ceiling where the Zyklon B was dropped causing the chemical reaction that suffocated 100s at a time. We then saw the crematoria where the victims were burnt.
We then took a bus to the adjacent camp 3 kilometres away ...
... and their date of death posted. I mentally averaged the dates and I guess that the men lived only about four months and the women for about two after they arrived. Breakfast was a coffee type liquid, lunch was a soup often made with rotten vegetables, and dinner was the same as breakfast. That was all the nutrition they got for a sun-up to sun-down work day in the fields, mines, or on construction projects.
Unas pocas palabras sobre el ...
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