Thursday, September 7, 2017
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.