Auschwitz - 16th May 2008 @ 6:47 pm «   »

Location: Poland : Auschwitz

Auschwitz photos here.

It was a surreal experience being in the concentration camp where so much suffering occurred.

Auschwitz is a 90 minute train ride from Krakow and as we got close it was easy to imagine what it must’ve felt arriving by rail as a prisoner. The camp is a short walk from Oswiecim train station and the sign “Arbeit macht frei” can be seen from a distance.

As we arrived we went straight in to the theatre to watch a short documentary on the liberation of the camp by the Soviet Army. It was very interesting but cannot quite prepare you for what is waiting.. No matter how much you’ve heard about what happened there, it is not until you actually walk through the rooms and corridors and see the countless photos on the walls that you start to appreciate the magnitude.

It is possible to take an English guided tour through both Auschwitz and Berkenau (Auschwitz II) camps, but we decided to just buy the guide book and concentrate on Auschwitz I only. Each block is an exhibit of a different part of life in the camp – sleeping barracks, washrooms, prison cells, working conditions, etc. The last building on the route was the grim gas chambers and crematorium – it is difficult to explain the feeling standing there and the impact of the whole experience.

This was one eye-opening daytrip and a must-see if you are in the area.

If you can’t see the slideshow above click here.

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