Thursday, 16 April 2009
I don't think my blog must just be about the jolly things I do, but I did hesitate before posting these photos I took of my visit to Auschwitz. Both photos and words are inadequate in any attempt to get a grasp on what happened here, and it feels like arrogance to even try.
Yet we have to try, don't we? For three nights after my visit this was all I dreamed about, my subconscious tying itself in knots trying to assimilate what I'd seen and read.
Auschwitz-1 itself, the first camp, was nothing like I'd imagined:
It's surprisingly small.
This is the "Death Block." Medical experiments on the left, punishment cells and courts on the right, executions in the yard:
The second camp of the complex, Birkenau, is about a mile away. Aushwitz-1 was largely a labour-camp/prison. Auschwitz-2 was the extermination-camp, and it's huge. And yes, this was what I'd pictured:
The wooden barracks were originally cavalry stables.
This view across the marshy ground of Birkenau seems to go on forever. The brick stacks are chimneys, all that remain of the barrack huts that were burned down or rotted away:
This is the remains of one of the underground gas-chambers/crematoria (they were blown up before the end of the war in an attempt to conceal what had happened):