a place of sorrow - Auschwitz

Auschwitz Travel Blog

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Entrance

Ever since in school I was always passionate about history and World War 2 was one of the many events which fascinated me and I can say that I’ve read pretty much everything I could lay my hands on about the subject.

 

With Auschwitz being about 35 miles west from Krakow I couldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the infamous concentration camp.

 

There are many things to be said about this place, a place where one of the biggest atrocities in the modern history took place, where around 1,1 million people found their death.

execution wall in the courtyard between the Block 10 and Block 11

 

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellie Wiesel, who was born Sighetu Marmatiei (the place where I was born), was detained here in 1944. Anne Frank had a briefly stay here as well before being moved to Bergen-Belsen camp where she died in 1945.

 

When I entered the main gate with slogan “Arbeit mach frei” (Work makes you free) I inevitably remembered a great book I’ve read, which impressed me very much, called Anus Mundi or Five years in Auschwitz written by a polish man named Wieslaw Kielar, one of the very few survivors that managed to stay alive throughout the whole five years while the death camp existed, from 1940 until 1945. In his book he basically describes every aspect about the camp, the atrocities, doctor Mengeles’ experiments, the executions, the gas chambers, crematoriums, personal dramas, escaping attempts, the whole structure of the camp, the ‘Canada’ sector where all the prisoners’ goods were sorted, Block 11 known as the ‘death block’, etc.

camp limit
So with this in my mind it was a very emotional experience for me to actually see the places I’ve read about and known about and when I arrived in the courtyard between the Block 10 and Block 11, where the executions took place I was quite overwhelmed.

 

Recommendation: While visiting the camp it is advised not to be loud or take pictures while smiling, a solemn etiquette is recommended as this is a mourning place and there are still relatives of the victims coming to commemorate them.

 

While in Warsaw I met this English lady and she told a strange thing about Auschwitz, a legend maybe, but she said that I should try and notice if this is true coz she surely experienced it.

the birds dont sing at Auschwitz
There is a saying that the birds don’t sing at Auschwitz. The whole camp it’s surrounded by trees and even inside the camp there are some. Outside I could clearly see and hear the birds singing. Strange thing was that while inside the camp it was complete silence, no sign of birds and no tweets, just complete silence. I even glared up at the trees inside the camp and tried to spot some but couldn’t find any. I’m not superstitious at all and always try to find a logical explanation but this was just strange. I went as far as thinkin’ that maybe the trees inside the camp are a different type of the ones outside and that the birds won’t nest in the ones inside, but all the trees seemed the same. If you’re ever at Auschwitz try and notice this aspect too. For me it just gave me more goosebumps…

 

Tip on visiting Auschwitz: In Krakow you’ll find a lot of offers for daytrips to Auschwitz. They will charge you around 1000 Zlots, about 25 Euros and will include the camp visit and the transport.

shoes
The thing is there is no entrance fee at Auschwitz and if you just go at the bus station and buy the ticket your self it will cost you about 20 Zlots, which is less than 5 Euros. There are daily buses and mini buses going everyday between Krakow and Auschwitz. When at the camp you can pay for a guide if you want to get a better understanding of the place or just visit around.

 

After the day trip I arrived back in Krakow on a rainy chilli night. ‘Twas the first day in October and the summer days seemed to be over.

 

texrah says:
I'm going in 3 months. I've also heard about the birds not singing there too.
Posted on: Jul 22, 2014
Marius1981 says:
thanks for the comment Daniel!

:)) yup just corrected the year, i've only put the day and month and forgot to set the year right.

well... actually i can travel in time but dont tell anyone ok?
and i really wanted to see this place before 2012 when the world is gonna come to an en... Oh, ups! Nevermind
Posted on: Feb 15, 2010
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Entrance
Entrance
execution wall in the courtyard be…
execution wall in the courtyard b…
camp limit
camp limit
the birds dont sing at Auschwitz
the birds dont sing at Auschwitz
shoes
shoes
entrance
entrance
Arbeit macht frei
Arbeit macht frei
gate
gate
at the gate
at the gate
near the entrance - where prisoner…
near the entrance - where prisone…
aroud the blocks
aroud the blocks
block 24
block 24
block 15
block 15
alley
alley
SS booth
SS booth
July 19 1943 - biggest public exec…
July 19 1943 - biggest public exe…
alley
alley
bock 20
bock 20
blocks 19-21 and 28 were infirmari…
blocks 19-21 and 28 were infirmar…
museum inside
museum inside
block 20
block 20
camp map
camp map
barb wire
barb wire
barb wire
barb wire
the courtyard between the Block 10…
the courtyard between the Block 1…
inside a block
inside a block
bunk beds
bunk beds
washroom where women were stripped…
washroom where women were strippe…
cell where prisones were starved t…
cell where prisones were starved …
the courtyard
the courtyard
execution wall and 2 pillars where…
execution wall and 2 pillars wher…
flowers at the execution wall
flowers at the execution wall
candles
candles
candles and flowers
candles and flowers
latrines
latrines
photographs
photographs
beds
"beds"
flowers for the relatives
flowers for the relatives
childern
childern
glasses
glasses
prostetics
prostetics
cases
cases
more shoes
more shoes
alley
alley
crematoriums
crematoriums
above the entrance
above the entrance
entrance
entrance
entrance
entrance
entrance
entrance
entrance
entrance
Black&White
Black&White
Black&White
Black&White
Black&White
Black&White
Auschwitz
photo by: EmyG