This last weekend we went to Krakow with a couple of friends. And when in Krakow, a visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau is a must.
As you may imagine, is very tough.. and indeed it was. Myself I had to walk away from the group a couple of times because I couldn’t take it anymore..I felt devastated, deeply sad and couldn’t stop crying. My friends managed a bit better, although they all felt sick.
We were quiet afterwards, trying to digest all the images and information, recolocating all our feelings and stomachs..but pleased with the fact that we decided to visit it on our first day in Krakow; to have the time afterwards to refill our hearts with some good moments shared all together and with the beauty that surrounded us.
Even now, editing the pictures and writing the post I feel the tears coming, my throat tightening..but it has to be seen. Cannot be forgotten.
Once, a visitor, strolling around looking all the pictures displayed, got frozen. He recognised his father in one of them..his father..who he thought had just been in the military service..he was one of the SS..
cans used in the gas chambers..
message to the prisioners: STOP!
before descending to the torture chambers all the prisioners were commanded to undress..all together, in front of the militars..
and leave all their clothes behind..
but all the prisoners could hear the cries and screams of the victims as they were just in front of them..
entering the gas chamber..
the crematory..where all bodies were burned..no remains, more space..
message to the militars: CAREFUL
Birkenau.. the Gate of Death
when interwed, many asked the survivors why didn’t they run or tried to escape..
the majority simply said that they didn’t know what was waiting for them..
they had been told old all sorts of lies.. and they were exausted hours standing and falling onto each others in the trains..
one of the survivors said that he did suspect what might be waiting for them there, but then turned around and saw his wife, his child and his parents, exhausted, unable to run.. he then looked around and realised..there was anywhere to run to anyways..
they stopped the wagons right in the middle of the camp.. so all hopes of escaping were gone the same exact moment as they were pulled out of the wagons..
..stairway to the gas chamber..
when they knew that the end was near, the militars destroyed all the chambers and all the evidences they managed..
..the government decided to leave the ruins as they were as the survivors desired..
after they were all released, most of them realised they didn’t have anywhere to go to..all their family members had been murdered, all their belongings stolen from them and unable to get back..
so they stayed in Birkenau, it became their home.. until they could get help and find a place to move to..
I don’t usually write any comments on the pictures but this time I did it, to give them sense.