Paszkowka Palace Hotel
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We left our lovely mountain retreat in rain and the coldest day so far. Expected high of 16. At 1000 we crossed the border into Poland and stopped at the past border for a rest room break. Nothing else there really. It is still rainy and overcast as we head for our lunch stop in Pszczyna. Along the way Peter filled us in on the particulars of Polish history once again using his 10 point outline to "tell the story" ...
Once I was back from Auschwitz, we headed out to check out St. Mary's Basilica. In front of the Basilica was a man in a costume and painted all gold with wings. We gave him some money, and then he moved and and gave us a piece of paper with wisdom on and it and took pictures with us. It was really cool, and he was so nice!
The piece of paper he gave me said, "There are so many people out there who will tell you that you can't. What you've got to do it turn around and ...
... dignity of these people...There were mounds of suitcases, pots/pans, shoes, glasses. These people thought they were being taken care of - and up to the gas chambers were told that to keep people calm to get away with this horrid acts. Saw the barracks and gas chambers. Also saw the prison - the torture chambers were disgusting. One part that was of interest to put a place with a story I heard many times was that of Saint Maximilian Kolbe. When there were people missing ...
... some of the largest (and very grand) chambers. After spotting a small jetty, we were hoping for a boat trip on the underground lake, but were told this had been shut down, after a tourist died when a boat capsized. We had a brief lunch after the tour and visited the multimedia centre before being guided a different way out of the tunnels, towards the town's main square.
We walked towards the small train station, and discovered a little festival taking place, of ...
... in rivers and forest areas.
I was struck by the sheer size of Birkenau. It was a small city. It had a sewage plant. It had rows upon rows of barracks. The barracks were constructed of wood and had minimal heating. Winters in Poland are not warm. It was 36 degrees this morning and winter in nowhere near.
If a prisoner was sent to the right, to live another day, then they went to the tattoo house. All clothes were removed ...