Why visit Auschwitz, you may ask?
|I didn't really know what we'd see but |
large, red brick buildings like these
were not what I expected or envisioned.
|The 1st extermination/crematorium area above |
and below located just steps from the entrance.
|The urn containing a handful of |
human ashes, gasthered from Birkenau,
commemorates the dead.
|5-7 cans were enough to kill 2000 people at a time.|
|Everyone's hair was removed upon entry; |
Nazis used the hair for wigs and even to fill mattresses.
|Before entering the camp, this woman |
weighed approximately 75 kilos or 163 lbs;
when the photo was taken, she weighed 25
kilos or a mere 55 lbs.
|We saw wall upon wall of photos, |
each taken as part of the registration process.
Underneath each was the person's name,
camp number and dates of birth and of death; most died within 1 month of arrival.
|Initially prisoners slept on straw; later on mattresses and on bunks which were added in 1941; prisoners slept on tri-level bunks that during the day had to be made up to military precision; usually 2 slept on each level.|
|Guardhouse by the 'Wall of Death'|
|For many years, the Allies refused |
to believe news of the Nazi atrocities.
This article was published in 1944.
|Cattle car used to transport prisoners.|
|Jews selected by the SS for immediate death |
in the gas chambers of Crematoria IV and V
were herded along this road.
|The Nazis, knowng the war was about to end,|
tried to destroy evidence of their crimes.
|I remember seeing a haunting photo of Elie Weisel, |
the Jewish political activist who was a prisoner
at Auschwitz, lying in a bunk just like these.