Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it ~ George Santayana
It’s always been my traveling bucket list to see Auschwitz. From a very young age, I’ve always been fascinated and connect to this particular camp. I don’t know if it’s because my grandfather (whom I never met) received a similar demised in North Korea.
Auschwitz Concentration Camp is located in Birkenau, which is about an hour away from Krakow. The shocking part is how close the residential area is. I estimated the camp to be about 5 miles (give or take) away from the nearest house. It’s clear to me that there was no secret on what the Third Reich was doing. The Nazis took over Birkenau. The houses around the camp would house Nazi soldiers and their families. Higher ranking officers and their family would live on the camp very far away from the Jewish people. I’m not here to give a in depth history lesson, because I’m not the best person for that. Instead, I’ll be showing the photos of Auschwitz I and sharing the information I learned from the tour.
Auschwitz is broken up into two main camps. The camps itself is free of admission. Everyone was given an ear piece, so we can all hear our guide better. There was a lot of people visiting the camp, which was quite uncomfortable. We would be squished into rooms and narrow hallways, which kinda gave me a glimpse on how the Jewish community was treated. Physically and mentally, this tour was hard to handle. It was hard to hear about children being killed and looking at all the visiting families in the tour. It dawned on me that I wouldn’t have made it in the camp. Early in the camp’s history, they would kill all women and children. Not until a couple years later did they decided to keep healthy women to work in the camp.
In the beginning, the Jewish community was tricked into thinking that they were going to be moving into a Jewish town. They were given instructions that they could only bring one piece of luggage with them. When they arrived to Auschwitz, the Nazi soldiers took all their belongs, separated all the men and women. I couldn’t imagine how everybody felt coming off the train and being ripped away from your family.
I had a hard time emotionally with this tour. I found myself getting angry more than sad. I can’t believe this was happening. To this day, I’m still very upset by this experience. With that said, this was THE BEST (and most important) thing I’ve ever done in my whole life. I’m glad that I got to experience it first hand.