Wednesday 26 February 2014

Krakow, Poland III: Auschwitz concentration camp

We arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp on a gloomy cold day with slight drizzles, reflecting the solemn mood we were all in.

Electric wires that fenced up the camp.

The building on the right is a guard house where guards kept a watchful eye on the prisoners/fences.

Rows of houses where prisoners were kept. Now they host exhibits.

Photo of people arriving at Auschwitz. Such photos were used as propagandas to show that everything was all good and rosy at Auschwitz.

Belongings that the prisoners brought with them to the camp.

There were photos of the prisoners on the walls stating their birthdays, their occupation, the date they were deported to Auschwitz and the date they died. The triangles sewn on their uniforms meant different things depending on their colour (whether they were Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, etc) but the photos were in black and white so we couldn't tell. Read here for what the colours represent.

According to the guide, at least 6 people had to squeeze on one bunk. Before the introduction of these three tier bunks, they had to sleep on the floor.

Furnace to cremate the bodies of prisoners.

Auschwitz II-Birkenau was constructed because there was not enough space in the main camp.

People were brought here via this train.

Those who were deemed fit to work would stay in such houses and sleep in such beds.

Those who were not healthy/fit enough were sent to the gas chambers straight away and subsequently all those who fell sick. Subjects of experiments were also sent here. Above is a picture of the ruins of a crematorium and gas chamber.

Read more about the Auschwitz concentration camp here. It was such a tragic place..

How to get there?
I joined Cracow tours, one of the cheapest in town. Transport and guide were all included for 65 PLN for students.

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