ALTHOUGH I HAVE ONLY TAKEN PICTURES OF THE GROUNDS SOME PEOPLE MAY FIND THE PICTURES IN THIS BLOG DISTURBING.
It was my second day in Katowice and at my request we visited one of the main tourist attractions in the Kraków area - Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum which was as you should all know, one of the "Nazi Death Camps" and although I cannot say I thought it was going to be an enjoyable day out, I thought, and still do, that it is important place for everyone to visit to see first hand what unbelievable cruelty went on in this place back then and I and I will post the pictures and leave you with a thought - Hitlers plan known as "the Final Solution" set out to eliminate 11,000,000 Jewish people and although records were not accurate it is known 6.000,000 were killed between 1942 & 1945.
After parking up at the Museum entrance there are ample facilities and boards for you to take note of the statistics relating to the camp and pictures of people taken to the camp during the time it was open to help keep a perspective that these were not just number but individual human beings.
As you enter you cannot help but think back to how it must have felt for the people being interned in a much less civilised way than we were entering.
Barbed wire topped fences everywhere with Guard Posts scattered at intervals along the fences that stretched all around the camp.
Statistics make sad reading and there are Original manuscripts to see and you are led past "The death wall" where prisoners were stood up and shot
The transport for the Jewish people - over hundreds of people to a train would be transported for up to 8 days with no water or toilets !!!!!!'
Crammed 80+ to a carriage like the ones seen in the pictures and after the long journey the survivors would arrive at the camp where they were immediately examined by Nazi doctors. Those detainees considered unfit for work, including young children, the elderly, pregnant women and the infirm, were immediately ordered to take showers. However, the bathhouses to which they marched were disguised gas chambers. Read the statistics and weep.
If you were one of the ones that survived the initial inspection you were going to be put to work for the Nazis until you were no longer of any use and in the meantime you would be given a place to sleep either in one of the extended quarters in the fields where the Germans kept up to 40,000 at a time or in one of the original bunkers where you slept on one of the shelves you see in the picture which would be a sleeping place for up to seven people.
There were no toilets and therefore you would want to be on one of the top bunks and definitely not on the lower. And there were of course stone floors when temperature reached well below Zero in the winter and up to 45 in the summer.
Although the ovens were destroyed by the guards in an attempt to hide what had gone on in the camp, the camp has remained as it was as a reminder of mans inhumanity to man, in the hopes that there will never be a repeat..
As I left I saw these young Jewish Children on a trip to learn about their history and pray we have learnt a lesson we do not allow to repeat.