Exploring Auschwitz

slobberchops
Slobberchops @slobberchopsNovember 2018 · 5 min read

I'm a little surprised there isn’t a plethora of Auschwitz articles floating about considering the number of us that went to visit the Death Camp on Saturday 10th November.

85mootome7.jpg

o8h0q4rg3g.jpg

At least THREE coaches left the Qubus Hotel that morning which took just over an hour to arrive.

7ipj6mo7o5.jpg

This place is busy! Lots of tourists and after milling around the entrance the organizers, I guess got us some tickets.

0stpuemtft.jpg

We were hustled on this bus squashed up like the London Underground when it’s busy and headed for Auschwitz II (Birkenau) which is one of the three areas.


Auschwitz II - Birkenau

Five minutes later, we disembarked and I stood in front of this infamous building entrance. The weather didn’t really suit the doom and gloom atmosphere that was emitting from most people.

xmda9c1jer.jpg

wxfpgblrtq.jpg

The sun was out and it was not warm, but comfortable except the annoying flies that were buzzing around everybody’s heads.

rejh67xcbp.jpg

o18zn2wis9.jpg

At some point shortly after we arrived I decided black & white shots would suit this place better and so many of the following ones are just that.

os0l0isspg.jpg

1km5t22obp.jpg

Walking through the gates I noted the place was simply enormous and looked to stretch out for a few miles. Many of the buildings were flattened when the allied forces advanced, and you can see these ones have what look like chimneys sticking up.

Why did they not demolish the chimney parts?

s270jfhwkj.jpg

um4umfd5s9.jpg

We were separated into three groups, but many people just walked at their own pace, particularly the photographer types like me who were trying to get shots with no people. This was proving challenging at times with the masses of tourists.

3vcf79azuz.jpg

These guard towers were placed approximately 200 yards apart. Most are pretty much intact 77 years later.

ikegp1rluh.jpg

The Nazi’s were extremely efficient. The trains came directly into the camp; there was no escape route, no buses or walking. This was the case for both camps we visited.

726ykou42o.jpg

ui39az4elm.jpg

The gas chambers have been long destroyed and only ruins remain. Many were having a good look at them, and the derelict mess that remains.

fvro8n04xg.jpg

bnuqlbpyw5.jpg

I could see so many long faces and people shaking their heads all the way through the tour. What happened needs to be seen so that it can never happen again.

7f9jxd5owr.jpg

The ‘Death Barrack' was used for women who were stripped of their possessions and clothing. Naked, they were made to sleep in this bunker area.

o91hhvinoc.jpg

fxwo203prm.jpg

The top boards were preferable, but if it rained the roof leaked. The bottom ones have a stone base, not suitable for humans whatsoever to sleep on.

I couldn’t imagine what it was really like all those years ago. It’s no wonder many died as in the winter the temperatures were regularly sub-zero.

Back in the buses, we moved back to Auschwitz I where the coaches waited. This was not the end of the tour though. To get into this area, we had to go through security that reminded me of an airport.

rb00pexih2.jpg

Walk through scanners, and place your possessions separately were the state of play if you wanted admittance.


The Fart

While waiting our turn, a strange smell entered my nostrils. What was that?

Several seconds later it registered that somebody had farted, and I mean a major bomb. Hastily moving out of the way of this terrible pungent odour, I then scoured the area trying to find the smelly arsed perpetrator but found no suspects at all.

A bloke meandered his way directly past me and through the deadly noxious gas cloud, spluttering and emitting an expletive I didn’t quite catch.

@bingbabe just stood there trying to look innocent. That girl just doesn’t know when it’s time to rapidly move out of the way, sigh. I’m quite sure it wasn’t her.


Auschwitz I

Shortly after this little ‘incident’ we passed through security and were given headphones and a volume device. Very handy as there were simply too many people in the area to hear what the guides were saying.

rg7vx65xlf.jpg

Auschwitz I was all buildings, whereas Birkenau was mostly ruins and open areas.

09d0kbzurw.jpg

0b45wzk7gr.jpg

The next part of the tour encompassed visiting several of these buildings. The Nazi’s stripped all anyone coming into the camp of all possessions and rigorously placed them in separate piles. Many of these piles of possessions are still there for all to see.

pq8klgh1wu.jpg

3rcikky2q6.jpg

I saw piles of children’s clothes, women’s footwear, over 200kg of women’s hair, piles of combs and many other things. I don’t mean a few things; some of these were in large volumes of the size of a small warehouse.

h1pxtvgf9c.jpg

jw1z8aqp6j.jpg

What I saw really sickened me and I didn’t photograph any of it and thinking of it now while typing has given me that lump in my throat that I had during the real experience. Some things should just not be seen.

fdfovqx6kx.jpg

k3arjny3ba.jpg

I was satisfied to photograph the buildings themselves that house these horrific items. So much has happened here, shootings, death, suffering, it's a place that should be visited only for the experience and to gain an understanding of the past.

wofiehm8dl.jpg

lk8hvuyc3l.jpg

The photographs I present to you tell some of that story. I have colour versions of all these too.

0558is9hjd.jpg

j6q0bsuwd1.jpg

Close to the end of the tour, it was getting dark and rather cold. I had to revert to colour as my black and white shots were lacking the white due to the bad light.

9jl3exmcul.jpg

ngt0q1cq3g.jpg

Auschwitz is worth visiting and is remarkably well maintained, but don’t expect it to be pleasant.


DivindingLine.JPG

SteemEnginer.gif

Drooling Maniac.JPG

If you found this article so invigorating that you are now a positively googly-eyed, drooling lunatic with dripping saliva or even if you liked it just a bit, then please upvote, comment, resteem, engage me or all of these things.


Share this post

Post Location



803
Comments
wilnonis
Wilnonis @wilnonisNovember 2018

It's a good post, thank you for this! I truly belive more people should be aware of the history, of all the horrors and tortuare that actually happened...

I too wish to go to Auschwitz one day. My nation suffered form it greatly, many intelligent, innocent and talented people died for nothing. For me, coming to Auschwitz in a way would be like paying respect to all the people that died.

Also if you like to read and you are interested in this kind of thing, might I suggest you read a book "forest of the gods" by Balys Sruoga. It's a book written by a lithuanian that survived Stutthof concentration camp. It's a really powerfull read, it really shows what horrors happened in these camps and how people tried to deal with it.

Once again, thanks for the great post!


17

Hey, thanks for the information. I can see there is a film too:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forest-of-the-Gods/dp/B007B32J0I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1542400034&sr=8-2&keywords=Balys+Sruoga

This story is not for the fainthearted, it is about the brutallity and madness of the third Reich which never ended when the cruel Communists took over. It shows the sadness of the Baltics including Poland. Even though it is in a foreign languade with Lithuanian subtitles it is not hard to understand the concept of the writer.A must see

I don't get time to read books these days, its a shame there is no audiobook, as I would have given it a go.


10
wilnonis
Wilnonis @wilnonisNovember 2018

I personaly haven't seen the movie so I cannot tell if it's good or not. And yes it's a shame there is no audiobook, these types of books don't get that much attention sadly.


1

GReat post I visited there once and it such an emotional and overwhelming experience , thanks for sharing


5

I don't think anyone would go visit this place and have the expectation to be entertained in any way. Its history is so black that gives you the chills only reading or thinking about it. I can't even imagine how it feels to walk in there knowing the horrors that took place there.
Great photos and post!


5

Thanks @lymepoet, it takes some effort putting these together. I felt the B&W pics were better and suited the sombre mood.


0

Yes, they do look good in B&W!


0

These shots are amazing yet chilling at the same time. I am not surprised you didn't photograph the personal possessions, I don't think I could have done either. I really felt the weight of the place from the post. Thank you for sharing, we should never forget what happened there


5
lizelle
lizelle @lizelleNovember 2018

You really captured the absolute doom and gloom of the death camps, horrendous to think what those poor souls went through! Absolutely nowhere to escape! And this was done by human beings!


5

Aren't we lucky that we were not around in those days?


4
lizelle
lizelle @lizelleNovember 2018

We are indeed, but just so awful to think of what those poor souls had to go through!


0
bozz
Bozz @bozzNovember 2018

Wow, that is a pretty powerful post. I don't think I could do it. I mean I will probably never get the chance to visit, but I don't think I could even if I did. I'd probably be throwing up all over the place just thinking about what had happened. When I told @mrsbozz what you guys were doing on your "wind down" day from Steemfest she just said "oh my". Great post.


5

The problem with long posts is all the mistakes. I have edited it 4 times already. It was a disturbing places to visit.


4
bigtom13
bigtom13 @bigtom13November 2018

I saw your post and had to think twice before clicking on it. Even the photos of this place affect me profoundly.

Really nice job with both the photos and the words. Extraordinary.


5

Congratulations! This post has been chosen as one of the daily Whistle Stops for The STEEM Engine!

You can see your post's place along the track here: The Daily Whistle Stops, Issue 315 (11/17/18)


2

Congratulations! Your high-quality travel content was selected by @travelfeed curator @for91days and earned you a reward, in form of a 100% upvote and a resteem. Your work really stands out! Your article now has a chance to get featured under the appropriate daily topic on our TravelFeed blog.
Thank you for being part of the TravelFeed community!

TravelFeed
TravelFeed

Learn more about our travel project on Steemit by clicking on the banner above and join our community on Discord


1

This is great writing-mixing the tragedy of the Nazi horrors with the comedy of body emissions. I actually laughed out loud, completely surprised by the detour.

Thanks for writing this.


1

I thought my intermission was going to be missed by everyone. I couldn't make all the story too dark. Your the first one who mentioned it!


2