Such a sad place
Auschwitz Travel Blog› entry 10 of 23 › view all entries
After Jasna Gora, we arrived at BIRKENAU, (Auschwitz 2) and only had 20 minutes to walk around. A watch tower and the railroad tracks that the prisoners arrived on were the first things that came into sight. Upon entering, barbed wire fences separated the area in 2 sections and were on either side of the tracks. The prisoner's barracks were to the right of the tracks. Signs tell the history and explain the set-up of the camp near the barracks. This was the part we saw. Everyone was pretty quiet here except for a woman in our group (nicknamed interrupter) who yelled for people to move so she could get a picture inside the barracks! There always seems to be one in every bunch.
We then went over to Auschwitz Museum where Tunde said we could have as much time as we wanted/needed here; even though we were given a guided tour.
The many things I saw here were:
- an original building with a starvation cell, a dark cell and standing cells with only room for one person and a washroom for women to change
- another building with rooms that held different personal belongings behind glass cases:
one filled with human hair strands, including a smaller case that held 2 braided ponytails
that was going to be used to make uniforms
a case in the next room held baby shoes and a doll, another with baby clothes
another room filled with nothing but shoes, another filled with artificial legs
one with hair brushes, combs and shaving accessories
one room held the prisoners suitcases with their names visible on them
As I looked into these glass windows through the different rooms, I thought to myself; I wonder what the person looked like who wore that female black shoe? whose artificial leg? what little girl did that doll belong to?
Back outside, we were shown the Wall of Death where people were shot.
In Krakow for 2 nights, our included hotel meal at the Holiday Inn Express was not the best with the beef being very tough. The garlic eggplant wasn't bad though; but the dessert of apple strudel made up for the meal. We sat with the Filipino couples who were very friendly. We walked a bit then called it a night.