Thursday, September 7, 2017

Auschwitz I

I took this photo of the Nazi slogan "Work sets you free" written in German above the main gate as we entered Auschwitz I.

This is what it looks like after entering the main gate.

Block 10, where mostly women and some men were used as experimental subjects by SS doctors.

The "Black Wall" located between Block 10 and Block 11, where prisoners were shot to death.

Block 11, where prisoners were subjected to punishment and torture.

I took this photo of a guard house while standing inside a room in one of the blocks.

This guard house is located along a road running between the blocks.

Double rows of electrified barbed wire fencing.

The gallows constructed specifically for the purpose of executing Nazi war criminal Rudolf Höss, the architect and commandant of Auschwitz. He was hanged here on April 16, 1947. This spot is located adjacent to the gas chamber and crematorium building.

Entrance to the building housing the gas chamber and crematorium. We did go inside and I can't begin to describe how it felt to stand there in that gas chamber. We were allowed to take photos, but I just can't show them because they are too disturbing.



One afternoon while we were staying in Kraków, we took the one hour drive to the city of Oświęcim where the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau is located. Today I am showing some photos I took while walking around Auschwitz I, the original camp that was opened in 1940. Located on the grounds of a former Austrian military barracks dating from the 19th century, it had last been used by the Polish army. By 1943, the number of inmates here had grown to about 20,000 people deployed at forced labor in nearby SS operated facilities. Living conditions were inhumane and the death rate was very high. People died from typhus, dysentery, cholera and abuse, and also from arbitrary killings. In block 10, prisoners were victims of cruel medical experiments. In block 11, they were subjected to punishment and torture. In between these two blocks was the "Black Wall", an execution site where prisoners were shot. In 1941, experiments using Zyclon B gas were begun as a mass extermination method in a room in the crematorium that had been converted into the first gas chamber. Tomorrow I will show some photos from the many exhibits on display inside some of these buildings. The next day, I will show some photos from Auschwitz II-Birkenau.

A quick note: I realize these photos are of a sensitive nature and I have tried to chose them carefully from the many photos I took at this place. I understand if some of my readers choose not to view them or comment. I felt it was important to visit here, especially given the current political climate in my own country and to show the photos to remind people of what can and did happen. I cherish all of my followers and would never want to upset anyone. I completely understand if anyone chooses to skip my blog for the next two days as I will be posting a few more photos.

18 comments:

Revrunner said...

With all the stupid Neo-Nazis running around the U.S. and elsewhere, a very necessary reminder.

Francisco Manuel Carrajola Oliveira said...

Um lugar com uma história muito triste.
Um abraço e boa semana.

Andarilhar
Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
Livros-Autografados

Tom said...

...how I agree with Revrunner!

biebkriebels said...

I skipped this post, to much bad memories in our family....

Adam said...

I can imagine the horrible look with the gas chambers, no paint or wallpaper could make those rooms look normal

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I agree this is a great reminder of the horrible past and history of the Nazi's. I hope and pray this kind of thing never happens again. Thanks for sharing your tour. Have a happy day!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

I don't think I could go in Lois.. too many horrific things happened here.

William Kendall said...

Haunting- the proof of just how evil human beings can really be. Which is all the more important that it's left in place.

A Colorful World said...

I was pleased with your sensitive selection. I think I would be too emotional to visit that place, but I am so happy it has been preserved and one can visit if they choose to. Thank you so much for sharing.

Sharon Anck said...

It must have been very sobering to visit here but, I thank you for sharing the photos. You are right, we do need to be reminded even though we aren't very good at learning from the past.

I hope you can stay safe from the storm headed your way.

Sandra said...

at first I thought how horrible and I would not want to visit, but then I thought it is a lesson to those of us who did not live it. the lesson to me is the buildings are really nice, but the horror inside was done to others by humans not the buildings. a reminder of the very sad condition of the world back then and how it can be again. even in our country

RedPat said...

We must never forget.

I hope you are going to be spared the effect of Irma, Lois!

bill burke said...

I agree with Pat, the world must never forget.

magiceye said...

This post brings to fore the horrors that man is capable of.

BeachGypsy said...

That is an evil and horrible place. Are you evacuated?? Thinking of you--- be safe!

Marleen said...

This must be a visit you will never forget. Impressive, Lois.

Denise inVA said...

Lois, I have been looking through all your photos and your journey has been truly amazing. I remember my own parents visiting Auschwitz many years ago when I was in my late teens, long before I married. They came back with all kinds of literature, books with graphic photos, saying that it would make me very sad and I would also find them horrific, but they felt it was important that I read them and we discussed them at great length afterwards, yes through tears. If any were to visit this place, considering the political climate here, they could not deny its existance. I think every world leader, including our own, should visit Auschwitz. I know many have.

Klara S said...

Tears are always in my eyes, when I think about Auschwitz or other Nazi camps. So much cruelty.