Auschwitz

The next day we woke up early and headed across town for our ride to Auschwitz. On the ride over they showed us a documentary on the holocaust, revealing photos we had never seen before.

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Gate to Auschwitz I, “Work will set you free”
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Prisoner barracks in Auschwitz I

Once we arrived in Auschwitz we were led on a guided tour through the original camp, referred to as Auschwitz I. The guide led us too all the different museum showings. There were not many informational posters or self guided tour options. Which we had researched ahead of time and the reason we booked a tour. Our guided tour provided us with lots of information that was not explained when just walking around. On the downside groups are a bit rushed to and from each location. A con to visiting an infamous site, for all the wrong reasons.

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Kitchen ware confiscated when prisoners arrived in Auschwitz
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Prisoner glasses stolen upon arrival
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Prisoner shoes stolen upon arrival
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Prisoner lodgings in Auschwitz I, bunks were overcrowded

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Warning: High Voltage
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Opening in ceiling used to pour Zyklon B into gas chamber.

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After our tour of the first camp we were driven to Auschwitz II Birkenau. The second camp is where the majority of the murders took place.

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Infamous entrance to Auschwitz II Birkenau

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One of the remaining barracks. Nazi’s stole the barrack design from horse stables. It was considered a quick, easy, and cheap way to build the lodgings. This meant that the drafty building did little in protecting prisoners from harsh weather.
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Prisoners were only given 5 seconds to finish their business with zero privacy.

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View of the entrance from the sorting platform. Where the fate of thousands was decided with a simple point of a finger; one direction meant hard labor, the other the gas chambers.
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An original cattle car used to transport prisoners.

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Remains of one of the gas chambers. Upon retreat Nazis attempted to destroy evidence of mass genocide.
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Some of the barracks in Auschwitz II Birkenau were built out of brick, however Nazi officials moved to wood buildings since it was cheaper and quicker to build.
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Remaining chimneys from the rows of barracks. Many of them were dismantled and sent to concentration camps further west as the Red army approached.
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Inside living quarters of a barrack in Auschwitz II Birkenau
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A sleeping bunk reserved for 6 people.

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On our way out we collected some books from the gift shop, and headed back to Krakow.

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