Auschwitz.

by | Sep 6, 2014 | Europe | 2 comments

Can’t make The Holocaust funny, can you? Nope, not even if you’re an old man who wet-farts through the Auschwitz tour. The funny just turns off in that place. You don’t laugh and you don’t answer your cell phone and you don’t get an ice cream cone from the giftshop afterward. Yes, I’m judging, 100%.

It’s an utterly confounding experience to be in a place that doesn’t contain an ounce of lightness. That the best job there was emptying the toilet troughs isn’t funny at all. It’s horrifying.

I don’t know what to say about it. Who wants to hear what I think anyways? Yeah, that’s dumb. Maybe just some pictures. Here they are…

(Some photos link to articles for clarification of what the heck the thing is.)

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Wait – first – here’s a great overview of the whole concentration camp deal. Interactive thing from BBC – worth the 10 minutes to read/watch it. Click here.

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Surrounding area, which was stunning (from a moving bus)

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“Auschwitz” was made up of two camps: Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II (Birkenau). This first set of photos is from Auschwitz I.

 

Auschwitz I

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Entrance to Auschwitz I “Arbeith Macht Frei” = “Work Makes you Free”

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Layout of Auschwitz I.

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Former Polish army barracks – adapted for “housing” of prisoners

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My tour guide. And gruesome stats.

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Zyklon B canisters (poison used in gas chambers)

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Block 10

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(Block 10)

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Watchtower

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“Caution: High voltage, danger”

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First gas chamber at Auschwitz I, before the bigger ones were built at Birkenau.

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Gallows where Rudolph Höss (Kommandant of Auschwitz) was hung.

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His house, just outside the camp.If you’re looking for a really disturbing take on the Holocaust, take a look at his memoir: http://www.amazon.com/Death-Dealer-Memoirs-Kommandant-Auschwitz/dp/0306806983

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Not sure what that building is. The trees looked a little sad, hence this picture.

 

Auschwitz II – Birkenau

(Part 2 of the camp – where the mass killings took place)
 
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Main entrance to Birkenau (from inside the camp).

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Stole this image from these guys: http://www.theholocaustexplained.org/ks3/the-final-solution/auschwitz-birkenau/transport-and-arrival/#.VAwscYC1ZjB

Stole this image from these guys: http://www.theholocaustexplained.org/ks3/the-final-solution/auschwitz-birkenau/transport-and-arrival/#.VAwscYC1ZjB

Remains of wooden dormatories (men's) in Birkenau. The things sticking up on the left are brick chimneys. The building on the right is what these used to look like. When the camp was liberated, soldiers tore down the wood for fuel to heat barracks where prisoners were treated. Cuz Poland's cold.

Remains of wooden dormatories (men’s) in Birkenau.
The things sticking up on the left are brick chimneys. The building on the right is what these used to look like. When the camp was liberated, soldiers tore down the wood for fuel to heat barracks where prisoners were treated. Cuz Poland’s cold.

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Men’s bunks

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Latrines

Women's dormatories

Women’s dormitories

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Remains of gas chamber (destroyed by Nazis before liberation).

Remains of gas chamber (destroyed by Nazis before liberation).

What the gas chambers looked like when they were in use.

What the gas chambers looked like when they were in use.

Model of gas chambers.

Model of gas chambers.

Model of crematorium

Model of crematorium.

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Monument at Birkenau, a few hundred feet from the gas chambers.

Monument at Birkenau, a few hundred feet from the gas chambers.

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“Forever let this place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity. Where the nazis murdered about one and a half million men, women, and children, mainly jews from various countries of Europe.” (translated into several languages on surrounding plaques – English below)

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“Forever let this place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity. Where the nazis murdered about one and a half million men, women, and children, mainly jews from various countries of Europe.”

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2 Comments

  1. Santa Claus

    Kelly. I understand your inability to write about this. Just seeing the pictures and reading the explanations of what they were about is moving. But keep in mind, we need to have people write about this and other things currently happening in our world, so we don’t let this ever happen again. Once was too often.

    Reply

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