Auschwitz

June 11, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Work brings Freedom

AuschwitzAuschwitz Admin and Medical building protected by electrified fences. Auschwitz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auschwitz held no surprises for me. I had seen films and pictures of the camp and the buildings. I didn't experience a feeling of evil or dread that others who had visit the death camp said they felt.

Auschwitz-25Birkenau

Auschwitz-11Berkenau Barracks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   It was surreal to see the actual places where so many people had lived and died in such barbaric conditions.

Remains of the Barrack Chimneys

 

Transport Box Car on the Birkenau Rail Track

Even knowing that my Aunt and Uncle had died there. Auschwitz didn't have the effect on me I thought it would.

Irena Kauderova Transit Document: my auntShipped from Terezin to Auschwitz 23.1.1943

Transit Document Hugo Kauder: my uncleShipped from Terezin to Auschwitz 23.1.1943

I was lucky to have an intelligent and pragmatic father. We discussed his being a refugee away from the deaths of his mother and sister. His disappointment was that his christian Czech friends and neighbours had not protected or helped them. To my father the attitude of the Germans to the Jews wasn't any different than other nationalities. The Nazi SS persecution was more methodical and efficient.

Inside a BarrackPrisoners sleep 5/6 to a bed. Inside a Barrackprisoners sleep 5/6 to a'bed' .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toilets

 

Auschwitz seemed to be about the number of prisoners and deaths, and not about individuals. Which was, of course, the NAZIs 'Final Solution' .

When looking at the dates of the development of Auschwitz it is initially alarming the amount of organisation, manpower and transport that the SS was able to requisitioned for their death camps at a time when the German army was fighting and losing on three fronts.

However Concentration Camps were an integral part of the German war effort and big business for the SS. Aside from stealing prisoner's possessions and property the inmates were hired out as slave labour to German industry.

 

 

 

 

Martin Netocny, a Czech photographer was travelling with me to take pictures of my visit for an Irish Times article. We had arrived early so we had access to the camp without a group and guide.

Main Buildings Auschwitz Looks like a housing estate.

Martin Netocry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The buildings away from the electrified fences look very much like a small town or village.

Main Street Auschwitz

 

 

The March of the Living was visiting Auschwitz on the same day and by 10.00 a.m. the entrance was crowded with teenagers and their handlers. Including a group of Isreali security .

Groups at the entrance to Auschwitz Groups at the entrance to AuschwitzPhoto Opt?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Groups at the entrance to Auschwitz Groups at the entrance to AuschwitzIsraeli Security

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I'm honest it had the feel of Disney Camp rather than Death Camp.

Israeli Group at the entrance to Auschwitz Tour Headphones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March of the Living Group Touring the CampNot the most appropriate T shirt?....perhaps it is!

The March of the Living had placed markers to remember the dead on the train tracks going into Birkenau camp. 

'March of the Living' Markers on the Train Tracks leading to BirkenauThe Markers are to remember the dead.

BirkenauThe March of the Living walking around the ruins of the Gas Chambers

They also circled the ruins of the Gas Chambers.

BirkenauThe March of the Living walking around the ruins of the Gas Chambers

 

The ruins of the Birkenau gas chambers

 

The SS had dynamited the Gas Chambers as they deserted the camps ahead of the Red Army.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...for the millions that died in Auschwitz-Birkenau these mementos express the tragedy of the individual.

Flowers in a Birkenau Barrack A rock on the tracks BirkenauA combined German and Israeli flag?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A rock on the tracks BirkenauMichi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The small Gas Chamber AuschwitzFlowers and candles


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