It was the brightest day of fall October 2015 when I followed the path of death to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
This day trip can be booked from Krakow which gives your city trip a macabre touch…and more than that. Auschwitz will leave you with a ripped soul and wondering whereas mankind deserves any good.
Decisions and death:
Is it seeing the worst of human’s that will make you thinking about whats fair, or in which direction the world is turning right now? How could that happen (‘that’ means: the professional killing of over 1,3 million people transported from whole europe to be murdered in Auschwitz’ gas chambers). It also can be the macabre band-conveyor killing that release the will to live and to make the best out of the time you have.
But I think the most important point is this one: There comes a time in everyones life, where you have to decide if you take the easy or the right way. And then you shall remember what happenend in Auschwitz.
For all the world to see and still ignored by the Allies, who did not bomb Auschwitz because it was no military base.
IT HAPPENED, THEREFORE IT CAN HAPPEN AGAIN…
IT CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE.
Primo Levi: chemist and writer, former prisoner of Auschwitz
WE have the chance to learn from history and turn the future into another direction. And maybe there is going to be a world where we don’t have to run, and a place we can call our home.
Why time has no power above memories:
The entrance to Auschwitz (“work frees you”) which people passed carrying their suitcases, hoping that they were detained to work here. They were wrong.
THEY EXPECTED THE WORST – NOT THE UNTHINKABLE.
Charlotte Delbo, writer, former prisoner of Auschwitz
After arriving with the train people had to divide into woman and children left and men right. The SS officers decided above immediate death in Birkenau (3km far away) or imprisonment and torture in Auschwitz.
The weak and the young ones had no chance to be selected for work.
These map shows the countries and cities wherefrom people were transported to Auschwitz. It makes the number of victims more than plausible.
Whereas the next destination was imprisonment or death, the people were taken away all personal belongings. Suitcases, brushes, eyeglasses and clothes. Even their hair was stolen – for weaving cloth out of it for the ‘Reich’.
There was no escape into freedom as Auswitz was surrounded by a high voltage fence. But the itself fence offered an escape: the one from life. Some prisoners threw themselves on it as the voltage was fatal.
The diverse horrors of Auswitz are now well known and can’t be forgotten. The uncredible medical experiments, the torture, cruel punishments and hard work (which often ment to build more barracks for new condamned to death) were the reason, why the few prisoners which were freed in 1945 by the russian soldiers lacked the slightest piece of hope and life in their eyes.
The trains arrived to Birkenau, the part of Auschwitz-Birkenau which is 3 km far away. There unbelieveable number of barracks had been build to imprison the people till they planned to murder them.
They way to the gas chamber number 5. Its not possible to really imagine what was going on in the head of those taking this path. Hope, horror, fear, shock, casualness…all were named but still…impossible to imagine.
WE, THE DEAD, ACCUSE!
Quote from the poem of an anonymous Jewish Czech woman. As she walked to the gas chamber on 8th March 1944 she managed to hand in her notes to one of the Sonderkommando prisoners.
The gas chambers of Birkenau had been destroyed by the SS when they knew that the war had been lost. They tried to destroy the proof of their crime, but it was far too late. The first passive and now shocked world discovered the immense crime very sortly after the war, regret came to late.
You still can ‘visit’ the gas chamber and crematorium of Auschwitz. In order of showing respect for the innumerable victims I will not to post the pictures.
“Someday I will understand Auschwitz. This was a brave statement but innocently absurd. No one will ever understand Auschwitz. (…). Auschwitz itself remains inexplicable. The most profound statement yet made about Auschwitz was not a statement at all, but a response.”
― William Styron, Sophie’s Choice
“So, let us be alert in a twofold sense: Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.”
― Viktor E. Frankl