I have friends who went there before me, and they said the almost exact same thing:
“It will be an emotional trip”
I’ve never imagine to set foot at this place, to be honest; I never know about this place before. Of course I’ve heard about Nazis and Adolf Hitler, of course I’ve heard about the massive murder of Jews during World War II. I’ve watched several documentaries on Youtube – one was about twins who survived the experiments by Dr Josef Mengele; one of the few identical twins rescued during liberation. At least, I’ve heard about the tiny 15% of it.
The tickets to the Auschwitz Museum always almost sold out. I recommend to book in advance with an educator (cost about 60 zloty for 3.5 hours tour), unless you are a true historian, or someone who’s interested in the story and has knowledge about it beforehand, it costs 0 zloty of course.
I didn’t prepare myself for the tour. It was on our last day, we booked a little bit late – after the New Years Eve and all tickets available with an English educator almost sold out. I went there with zero knowledge about that place – only some basics (ok fine not totally ZERO). We were shown the blocks and buildings in Auschwitz Camp for 1.5 hours – were told stories about it, the functions of each inmates etc. Then we took a free shuttle bus to Birkenau Camp.
Murder with no acceptable reasons are unacceptable. Outrageous! It was an emotional part of the trip indeed. Imagine being one of them,
you are told that you will be reallocated to a new camp, then you pack your bags and leave the old camp with your family with “it’s gonna be fine, they are just placing us in a new place” in mind.
After a long journey, upon arrival, they were told to leave their luggage, piled them up and were reassured that they could come collect their things later. Men were separated from woman and children. Little did they know, those were the last moments of husbands and wife; fathers and their children. Never had a chance to say goodbye. They never knew they would be sent to the gas chamber and were killed. They were killed within hours after arrival! Only those Nazi physician decided were ‘fit’ to work were sent to the camp. But they also died of starvation, diseases and later be sent to the gas chamber too.
They were deceived;- they were told to take a bath because the Nazis wanted to disinfect all of them before moving into the camp, those were excuses being told at the selection process. Those they see unfit -: that included children (identical twins were subjected to Dr Mengele experiments), old men, the diseased, old women, pregnant women, were sent to the gas chamber which they thought that would be the place to take bath – getting naked from top to bottom and were given soap. They were stuffed inside the gas chamber, shower heads were put to deceive them, that was a bathroom.
Then almost 2000 were killed within 20 minutes. With Cyclone B.
Their belongings were sent back to Germany and distributed among civilians there. All jewelries – all gold teeth were pulled out – and sold. The money went into the Nazis bank. Their hairs were cut and sold to the textile company. And their bodies were cremated. Sometimes the ashes were sold to be used as fertilizers.
“Again, they make profits from the human remains” – the educator.
Those are only big chunks of the story. I am not a historian so I cannot go into details about it. I can’t possibly remember the details and dates, names and everything.
However, if you think that we have achieve peace by implying democratic acts between countries, remember one thing – we can’t have our eyes shut or our ears deafened by what are currently happening in the Eastern side of the world – Palestine, Syria. All children, men and women there died of wrongful deaths. They lost their home, their land and freedom. They had to seek asylum from other countries and are treated like criminals on their own land. They are forced to give up their place, living in fear everyday that one day, when leaving home, that can be their last home, or their last goodbyes or even their last hugs. Nobody knows. They are ripped of freedom – that by simply walking on the streets might put bullets and holes in their head.
Look around – not only to Palestine/Syria. Look to the country which is having poverty and famine issues, to the minor races that got even less coverage.
That will be the end of this post. In just five years, from 1940 -1945 German Nazis under the command of Adolf Hitler, had killed up to 2/3 population of European Jews. After the liberation by Soviet Union, all gas chamber had been closed and destroyed – only the ruins remained today. All inmates were rescued and treated but some of them were beyond treatable. Some included identical twins which were used as subjects of Dr Mengele’s experiment. According to our educator that evening, only 50% involved were brought to justice. Many escaped under different identities.
It was a great closure to my trip.