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auschwitz

13

Jul
2013

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In Poland
Travel

By kanannie

A Trip to the Auschwitz Camps

On 13, Jul 2013 | No Comments | In Poland, Travel | By kanannie

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The former Jewish ghetto in Krakow.

Our main reason for going specifically to Krakow in Poland was to visit the Auschwitz camps. How could we not? For me personally, to bypass such a visit was akin to ignoring the horrors of what happened. We just didn’t realize just how much happened there.

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The Jewish Ghetto Memorial in the place where tens of thousands of Jews were deported to the nearby death and labor camps.

As we walked through the former Jewish ghetto, I suddenly realized that I was walking in the exact spot where about 15,000 Polish Jews were forced to relocate and live in cramped quarters, and where they were eventually massacred or herded onto trains bound for the nearby concentration or death camps.

Jews being deported from the ghetto in Krakow on March 1943.

The next day, we took a day trip to Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. In the minibus, we watched a sobering documentary of Alexander Vorontsov, a Soviet photographer who was assigned to document the liberation of Auschwitz and his experiences there. Once at Auschwitz, we were introduced to our guide, a very knowledgeable Polish woman who told us to keep in mind that we were about to pass through a mass graveyard.

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Barbed wire fence at Auschwitz I.

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Headshots of prisoners at the camp, before the Nazis did away with photographing and started tattooing numbers on them instead.

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