RELIVING THE HORRORS OF HISTORY, AUSCHWITZ CONCENTRATION CAMP
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp is situated in the small town of Oswiecim in Poland. It signifies the dreadful horrors of humanity depicted in World War 2. This is a monument designating the gruesome history of the holocaust by Nazi Germany. Although not your typical holiday site to visit, learning about our atrocious history is crucial in helping humanity prevent repetition.
The Auschwitz Concentration Camp takes us through the vexatious time of unimaginable horrors of World War 2 and Human history. The very camp standing in dismay today at Auschwitz-Birkenau was established covertly in 1940 by Nazi Germany. Looking back to the history of Adolf Hitler, 1.1 million people lost their lives in the midst of this camp.
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A RETELLING OF THE DREADFUL ESTABLISHMENT, THE AUSCHWITZ CONCENTRATION CAMP
It all began with Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, with the intention of crushing democracy and transforming Germany into war state. As a cardinal step to conquer Europe, Adolf Hitler’s history tells us he invaded Poland in 1939 sparking World War II. During the course of the war the lives of 11 million Jews were deemed as “unworthy”. Many are unaware that Homosexuals, gypsies, disabled people and the mentally handicapped were subjected to the same fate as the Jews.
For those unable to visit can still gain similar experiences through movies, documentaries and images made available. Movies and documentaries such as “Auschwitz Reports and Life is Beautiful” perfectly depicts the appalling terrors of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Also, “The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas, The Diary of Anne Frank and The Grey Zone” captures the outrageous injustices caused.
Movies such as “The Last Train, The Accountant of Auschwitz and Naked among Wolves” portray the abhorrent treatment people were subject to. The Photos and Pictures witnessed inside Auschwitz-Birkenau are popular and known to many. However, nothing juxtaposes the feeling of stepping into the grounds where unspeakable horrors of World War 2 occurred.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Saman Weeratunga is a Sri Lankan travel and portrait photographer based in Kandy, Sri Lanka. He is passionate about travel and aim to visit new places as much as he can. He has traveled and photographed some of the most amazing countries like Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Singapore, Malaysia etc. Besides his own travel photography, he conducts specific photo tours in Sri Lanka using his experience in photography and his years of knowledge on local photography destinations.
THE APPALLING TERRORS OF THE AUSCHWITZ CONCENTRATION CAMP
The death Squads of Nazi Germany also known as “Einsatzgruppen” were assigned with the mass killings of Jews. Each body lands on a piled up human grave. The priosners of the Auschwitz Concentration camp were traumatized, overworked, suffocated, shaved, starved and sent on a death march. The Camp History tells us the freezing conditions the inmates were subject to. They were stripped of clothing, deprived of food; hundreds were forced to use one latrine, resulting in the outbreak of disease. And how can any of us fathom being forced to walk for hundreds of miles until the point of collapse?
As you walk through, the preserved personal items of inmates are seen to be piling over shoes, prosthetic legs and glasses. It remains an austere reminder of the boundless loss of human life and the conserving of a harrowing past. There is one particular room visitors will come across in the Camp where Photography is strictly prohibited. This room contains real human hair from the shaved heads of prisoners as a mark of stripping their identity. You will surely be bound to tears.
At Auschwitz Concentration Camp, the infamous “Angel of Death” camp physician Joseph Mengele conducted genetic experiments on human subjects. The young and unfortified twin children were deemed to be his focus of fascination. Today, visitors to Auschwitz are able to witness the evocative evidence of Mengele’s vicious actions through conserved remains. Visitors will also witness the remains of the killing machines used to murder Jews and other persecuted groups. Remember to pay attention to the hatches on the roof of the gas chambers where Nazi’s dropped canisters of Zyklon B. The gas chambers travelers will witness will depict to be a somber experience and a horrifying symbol of the Holocaust.
Photography By: Saman Weeratunga
ENTERING THE HARROWING GATES OF AUSCHWITZ CONCENTRATION CAMP
An interesting fact to note, a visit with a tour guide allows better understanding of this peculiar place. Travelers can choose to join a tour or make their independent way to the camp site. For those wondering how to get there to Aushwitz-Birkenau from Krakow, it is only a 1.5 hour drive. But for those arriving from Warsaw the journey will be a 4 hour lengthy drive!
As you enter, the gates are positioned with the infamous slogan “Arbeit macht frei” (Work sets you free). It is important to remember as you visit, visiting hours are strictly monitored and enforced. The tour lasts for an estimate of 3.5 hours. Visitors are taken to Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II-Birkenau within the 3.5 hour time frame. The tour guides will provide you with immense knowledge regarding the outrage brutalities that occurred within the camp walls.
Videography By: Criminals And Crime Fighters
An interesting fact unknown to visitors about Aushwitz-Birkenau is the camp was originally built to hold polish political prisoners. However, the camps initial purpose escalated to becoming a key site for the Nazi’s “Final Solution”, the systematic elimination of Jews. As you journey through the gates of the camp, prepare yourself for an informative and emotional journey ahead.
Remember to always remain respectful as Auschwitz is a place of commemoration. Do not forget to carry your IDs, License or passports to visit. It is essential to carry water and snacks, the museum will not greet you with shops or restaurants. And don’t forget to book your tickets in advance! This is a must visit journey for everyone waiting to grasp a full found experience of the Holocaust.