Auschwitz and Birkenau

Auschwitz Travel Blog

 › entry 11 of 28 › view all entries

I am not exactly sure if I really want to write about this. We all know, or ought to know and remember, what happened in Auschwitz and what this place stands for. We all ought to learn the lesson. It looks like mankind will never learn, though… Racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, nationalism and exaggerated patriotism, glorification of war and military are as alive as ever nowadays. People are once more blindly following right-wing, fascist, downright Nazi ideologies. I have no understanding for anyone who, after the experience of 1945, still believes in such ideas. And that does not only apply to Germany. We really ought to know better.

I had read a lot about Auschwitz and other concentration camps, including reports from survivors. But walking through those camps and seeing the place in reality – I don’t have the words to describe the overwhelming feelings and I don’t want to use cheap phrases.

Back in Kraków in the afternoon after the tour, I went for a quiet walk through Kazimierz by myself, in order to digest the experience. That seemed befitting t me.

Some tour companies offer a combined day tour with the morning in Auschwitz, and the afternoon in Wieliczka salt mine. I absolutely disapprove of this combination, as these two destinations do not match at all. These tours are for people to whom Auschwitz is just another tourist destination - and they'd better not go there at all.

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photo by: Jeroenadmiraal