Unspeakable evil in Auschwitz
Trip Start Jul 11, 2005
62Trip End Apr 04, 2006
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· Prague time +0hrs
· Days to get to Prague - 1
"We must free the German nation of Poles, Russians, Jews and Gypsies"
- Otto Thierack, Minister for Justice of the Third Reich
"Jews are a race that must be totally exterminated"
- Hans Frank, Governor General, Nazi Occupied Poland
No introduction needed
I'm assuming the word Auschwitz needs no introduction to anyone reading this? It was the largest of the Nazi concentration camps, death camps produced at the height of Nazi oppression in Europe with the aim of systematically eradicating the races of society the Nazis deemed 'sub-human'. The camp is located 50km from Krakow, near the Polish town of Ooewięcim (Auschwitz in German). It's a convenient day trip from Krakow and we spent an afternoon at the site, which is now a museum to the victims who died here. I was hoping to tour the site independently but was glad we signed up for the 3 hour guided tour as it gives a good overview of the two main camps that make up the Auschwitz complex and certainly gave a better insight into the place than I could have gotten otherwise. It's hard to explain what it's like to visit a concentration camp, let alone one on the scale of Auschwitz. Enjoyable? Of course not. Sobering? Of course. It reminded me of my visit to the Cambodian Killing Fields some years earlier. While the intent in Cambodia was no different, the procedure was less methodical and on a smaller scale when compared to the Nazi genocide operation in Europe, an operation no better demonstrated than here in Auschwitz.
I've put some effort into the pictures that accompany this entry and I hope they go some way to portraying what it's like to visit a place like Auschwitz. Whether they do or not, one this is for certain; they'll do a better job than I could do if I was to try and put the experience into words. I was going to say enjoy them, but I guess that's not the right word.