Auschwitz: Reflection on Family and VisitsteemCreated with Sketch.

in travel •  last year

Hey everyone, welcome back to my blog. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow me for content that pertains to philosophy, history, and photography.

Today I’m going to talk about my trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau. This Nazi camp was utilized during the second World War as a means for the Nazis to obtain labor, perform scientific studies on humans, and, ultimately, kill thousands. I assume you already know about the Holocaust and of the millions of Poles, Russians, Hungarians, Gypsies, Jews, and others that perished in camps such as this one. This camp was perhaps the most notorious of the many the Nazis constructed, having been the location of an estimated million deaths and inhumane human experiments performed by Josef Mengele. I wanted to post pictures of the camp I took while visiting the site and give some perspective on the involvement of my family and most of Poland during the war effort.

I wanted to start off with the two most iconic sites at the camp.

Entrance to Birkenau, where most of the labor and prisoners were.


Entrance to Auschwitz accompanied by the infamous sign which states "Arbeit macht frei". Translated this stands for "Work sets you free". The sign in my picture is a replica for the original was stolen. Authorities, however, recovered the stolen sign and stored it in the State museum.


Often times gifted musicians were spared time to live in exchange for their ability to perform. In this picture is one location where such performances would occur.


Yes, there was a swimming pool at Auschwitz. In the book I'm reading about Mengele (by Posner and Ware) they mention that Auschwitz had a pool, soccer stadium, library, photo lab, theater, and even a brothel called "The Puff". I'm sure, however, these were for only Nazi officials and highly respected inmates. I only got to see the pool.


A wall were many were shot.


Cell of Maximilian Kolbe, my confirmation Saint.


Many were hanged here.


Gas chamber

Now we are in Birkenau


Alot of this camp was destroyed.


Memorial


One of the chambers destroyed.


Other chamber which was destroyed.

As for me and the Polish people, almost everyone was involved. Both sides of my family were a part of the war effort. From Guerilla units to even being an inmate at Auschwitz. I don't have much information regarding my great uncle Marian but I do know he somehow escaped and survived Auschwitz. The war and the camps are close to me, my family, and all of those effected by the war.

Overall there is so much to see and take in at this concentration camp but it is somewhere where you'd definently have to visit before you die. The attrocities commited by the Nazis will never be forgotten.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed, please do resteem and follow to see more similar content. Have a good day.

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What a horrific experience it must have been for the poor souls that had to endure the torture, humiliation and eventual death sentence carried out on them by people completely brainwashed by their leaders.

It's proof that some people - even whole countries - will acquiesce and submit to malevolent authority for their own self preservation. Few heroes, many cowards.

Resteeming this to 10,000+ followers.

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Wow, thank you! It only benefits humanity to share the sins we have commited.

Interesting article, one must never forget the six million

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It's interesting that a majority of the discussion of the Holocaust revolves around the Jews but there were many other victims. To dismiss all that died is foolish. I think it'd to better to remember ALL that died as all were human.

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That's right but not only us, the Jewish people have suffered, many other people groups too. That's why those who deny the shoah (destruction called 'holocaust) is insulting many people, not just Jews.

I doubt even one highly respected inmate was allowed to swim in that pool, it's definitely reserved for high Nazi officials. I'm surprised to learn there was a brothel there, interesting. Thanks for the share!

Wow. What an article. This is the most moving and poignant articles I have read on Steemit. It brings back memories of my visit to Belson. A horrific time which should never be repeated.

hello @ slowpoke
what a good write up backed with vivid images, you know, when we talk about old events, especially sorrowful ones, it's not to invoke anger on the younger generation but to reflect on the past and create a room for reconciliation. we had a similar experience here in Nigeria, but ours was self-inflicted. that is the Nigerian-Biafran war (1967-1970) the authorities don't like it when the issue is raised and that has giving much room for more people to agitate.
the past is our mirror in which we can see the future. nice one pal

@arizonawise

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Interesting war you mentioned, I would definitely have to read up about it. No matter what there will be some stigma carried against discussion of certain topics. Thank you for reading!

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you welcome pal steem on!

Let life always be beautiful,
As the brightest festive bouquet,
To make her dreams come true
And every day was warmed by tenderness!

B"H. Thank you for remembering and sharing your experience and memories of this devastating place with us.

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Thank you for listening!

that is a beautiful pictures, nice post. i like it :)

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Thank you!

Such a sad heavy place. I too would love to visit but am torn to why I'd want to. I find it an interesting part of history but so hard at the same time. Thank you for sharing! I'll follow and check out your other posts!

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Thank you for the comment and follow. If you're like me and it's hard to fathom such a thing happened, visiting a part of where it happened helps alot. Glad you enjoyed.

I really enjoy your post.Thank u for the post. Have a nice day

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You too, thank you!

Such a sad story. Could you imagine?! I wonder if history will ever repeat itself... That would be awful.

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We will have to wait and see, maybe not? Time will tell.

Thank you for the post. Very professional photos for a tough topic.

I'm glad I got to see your post. You keep putting out quality stuff. Can't wait to see the next one!

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Thank you for the comment!

That is exactly what Collective is does as fascism communism or any other form of collectivism if you think it's not going to happen to you think again

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Maybe it's true that history repeats itself. Only thing we can do is wait and see sadly. But it helps prevent such a thing happening again if we share what happened in the first place.

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public awareness a good thing however people still believe in two collectivist Messiah self-reliance that's answer

Wow this is some heavy stuff, the sunny beautifull photos almost feel out of place for such a dim and dark historical location where such attrocities were commited.

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I agree, thank you for the comment

This was an interesting article with nice pictures! Looking forward to more from you!

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Thank you!

My mother visited as well. I never have in all my trips to the area. One thing I found interesting is that when she went in the early 80's and asked the locals who resided nearby none of them admitted to hearing or seeing anything out of the ordinary. I find it hard to believe. Great post.

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Interesting, perhaps we will never know why none of them admitted. Thank you for the comment!

Powerful pictures, man. I only ever knew the front side view of the entrance. And the story about your family is also interesting. I'll upvote and share your post.

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Thank you. My great grandpa had quite the history in the war and as a high authority figure in Pińczów. I intend to make an article about it someday. Thanks for reading.

This never should be forgotten ! All students during their study have to go there..... So impressive, touching so deep,.. so sad,...

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Agreed, thank you for the comment.

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Powerful stuff. It still amazes me how much impact WW2 still has in everyday life and how much it shape the world as it is right now.

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Agreed, we still have much to learn. Thank you for the comment.

Interesting article. Thank you for the post.

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Thank you for reading, glad you enjoyed!

beautiful place wish to visit some day

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Might look nice but the history is grim, thank's for reading.

Interesting article. Thank you for the post.

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Thank you for appreciating my work!

Thank you for sharing your photos and your family experience. As Jewish woman it is hard to see without picturing the mountains of bodies of innocent people. May we hold the memories of loved ones lost close to our hearts and may God comfort all who mourn.

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Sorry to heard, and I agree. Thank you for taking the time to read and share.

Auschwitz is a sad place that witnessed unspeakable atrocities against many many people. Thank you for sharing the pictures of your trip. The place looks so tranquil but humanity must strive to never repeat what went on there some years back.

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100% agree, thank you for appreciating the pictures and blog.

My grandparents live through that

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Interesting, thanks for sharing your family relation to the war.

This hurts my heart. My stepdad visited in 2009 and his father was Jewish. He said the visit to Auschwitz changed his perception of everything forever. I can't even begin to imagine what they went through. 😔

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Hopefully nobody will ever have to again, thank you for the insight and for reading.

@slowpoke the way you have explained the whole experience is remarkable. The amazing pictures made me feel like I was there myself. What happened there was inhumane. I can relate to it because my country India had its own suffering by the Britishers.
Great work!
Even I am a bit of a travel freak and an amateur on steemit... Do check my blog and give it your review! You can use this link: https://steemit.com/travel/@steemmates/udaipur-the-city-of-lakes
Do check other posts too!

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Thank you for reading, I will definitely check out your post.

Great pictures! That was tough, my granfather was involve in WWII as well, this article reminds me about his stories, how he survived being a soldier.

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Very cool, thanks for reading.

Nice photos! but the greatest thing is that not only we in Poland know and share this terrify history. Thank you for remember...

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It effects many people outside of Poland, thank you for reading.

Great work here. This again brings afresh the memory of inhumanity against fellow man. It is unbelievable

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Agreed, thank you!

Hey, I've been to Dachau once and it was quite a depressing experience. Thank you for sharing this.
I will post a review about a real good movie about czech resistance during WW2 tomorrow. If you are interested, check it out ;)

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Thanks for the comment, I'll be sure to check it out!

You good photo^^

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Thank you, glad you enjoyed.

These are some really great pictures, thank you for the documentation! I'm genuinely curious (i.e. this is not a loaded question) what are your thoughts on the fact that there are 17 countries where questioning the Jewish holocaust is a Federal crime?

As a typical American, I was unaware of this fact until recently. But it has caused me to do a bit of research on my own, and I am definitely intrigued by the fact that no other historical event is punishable for merely investigating.

Any thoughts?

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I definitely agree with the sentiment that the truth should fear no investigation. Adding punishment to countering the truth shouldn't be necesarry if there is nothing to hide. All I know for certain is what happened to my family and those I know. My family suffered during the war and so did many. I welcome, however, counter-argument to the Holocaust because there should be no need to protect the truth.

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Nice. And good for you. It sounds so simple but in reality the truth is often the hardest thing to pursue.

Here is a documentary detailing one very interesting alternative perspective on the events of WWII: http://thegreateststorynevertold.tv/

If you have the chance to watch all 23 parts, I hope you enjoy the perspective-challenging experience.

<3 Best wishes in all that you do, and thank you again for sharing!

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Thanks for reading. I actually watched this documentary in it's entirety and alot of what was said is very grey area and difficult to backup. Strongest example I remember is the Ethnic German slaughtering the Polish people supposedly done. Although I am sure that Ethnic Germans were harassed, many of the supposed attacks were done by the Germans to fuel propaganda. Overall, it is simply best to do your own research and determine what you believe in. Aslong as you wish well for all humans and not for more tragedies like this one, that's all I could care for. As of right now, I stand by the general consesus that many tragically died in the Holocaust.

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Fair enough. I'll have to look further into the numbers on that. I kind of got the impression that most of the raping of Ethnic Germans was done by the Russians in any case. But regardless, I wholeheartedly agree that what ultimately matters is the desire to not perpetuate these types of crimes (as is currently being done to native Swedes in their homeland--courtesy of the organized migrant invasion (posing as a refugee crisis).

What struck me most from the film was learning about the Transfer Agreement, or Haavara Agreement, wherein the Reich successfully transferred around 60,000 of its Jewish citizens to Israel with all of their assets in tact (a mutually beneficial pact for both peoples). And that it was attacks from American Allied forces (displeased with how the agreement fragmented their boycott of German goods) which ultimately brought it to an end.

This type of economic and strategic context is highly relevant, and suspiciously absent from what we (again, Americans, I speak for no one else) are taught growing up. I don't doubt for a moment that great and terrible suffering occurred during this time, and have no desire to detract from that. Only to reconcile the lies that my country may have perpetuated about its own involvement in the matter, and honor the dead by ensuring that their story is properly understood.

I hope I have not offended you in any way. Again, thank you for sharing the wonderful pictures and personal account!

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Not at all, thanks for reading.

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Thank you!

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Thank you!

My father's cousin married someone who survived Auschwitz by playing the piano. He used to play at family parties. Once he got comfortable playing, he would roll up his sleeves and you could see his tattooed number. I was about 6-7 years old.

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Wow, very interesting. Apparently Auschwitz was also the only camp to stamp serial numbers on it's inmates as well, thanks for reading.

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oh! I didn't know that. I thought all of the camps put numbers on the inmates arms.

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Too costly and time wasting but I suppose this camp was an exception.

When I graduated, my math class decided to make a trip to Prague. Besides having had a good time in this great city, we visited Theresienstadt, which gave me not only one shudder.
I remember something that I recently heard from journalist Henryk M. Broder, who is of Polish origin and calls himself somehow like "prey german": "Have You been to Ausschwitz yet? They have a nice cafeteria, You can eat good food and enjoy Your stay. My mother starved to death there."

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Wow, yeah the restaurant there contrasts with what happens. Personally anger is wasted energy, now we should be informing everyone of the past, thanks for reading.

Man, I went there a few years ago and even though I'm not supersticious I swear the air was colder inside the walls than outside. Everyone was quiet and on edge. The whole place made my stomach churn. I took a day and a half road trip to get there and couldn't leave fast enough.

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It's not for everyone, glad you decided to go however. Thanks for reading.

I went to the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC several years ago and it was an intense experience. I cried when they handed me a passport of someone who was exterminated in one of the camp. I really needed two days to view everything and not feel rushed. Fabulous museum in regards to historical value and at the same time deeply saddened from reading about all of the victims of the genocide.

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If you really want to take in everything of any museum of sorts, one day is not enough. Thanks for reading.

these pictures are so heavy.. thank you for sharing, it's such a dark part of history that mustn't be forgotten.

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Thank you for appreciating

Good information, very usefull @slowpoke

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Thank you!

The sad thing is that nothing was learned from those terrible moments in history and they keep repeating over and over again

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Best thing we can do is try to stop it, thanks for reading.

Reminds me of Anne Frank.. She lost her life at Auschwitz...

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She actually died at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany. Thank you for reading.

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Oh, thank you for correcting me.
But was she not taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp?

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In September of '44 she was sent to Auschwitz but a month later she was relocated to the camp as mentioned. She died of Typhus.

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Thank you for the detailed info..
Great post!

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Thank you for reading.

Nice pictures, I’m following you now.

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Thank you!

I have been there two years ago and I share your experience. What impressed me the most was how big this camp was. At some point it seemed that there was no end.

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Yeah, it'd be difficult to cover all of the camp in one day, thank you for reading.

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Thank you!

Thank you for posting this. What a powerful lesson in history. Never again.

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Thank you

God these pictures are harrowing.

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Expected given the context, thank you for the comment.

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You are welcome it was a very good read.

I live in Poland, but I/ve never been in Auschwits, think I'm scared a little bit, thanks for this article and I invite u to my blog about Yucatan @sava, Greetings!

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No problem, thank you.

They say history repeats itself... that is not a good idea. Nice history. God bless!

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Thank you.

Thank you for the post. Very conclusive photos for a tough topic.

most interesting pictures

Great post and will never be forgotten what the germans did

more interesting

I once visited the Berlin holocaust memorial. Although me or my ancestors were not directly connected to the atrocities of WWII, I could feel a depressive feeling looking at the pictures and reading some tales.

There are no winners in war. At least not from what we've seen.

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Definitely agree with you. We can only reflect in the past to avoid making the same mistake twice.

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Nice pictures, I’m following you.

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Thank you!

i like this article now i following you

Visited a couple of years back and was extremely impressed. The rooms full of used shoes is just shocking! Sent you a follow for more like this, I also post lots of travel, feel free to follow back!

Hola excelente tu post te invito que conozcas el mio y me regales un voto, gracias un Abrazo Gigante desde Bogotá Colombia @ferchomusic
Hello, your post I invite you to meet me and give me a vote, thanks a hug Giant from Bogota Colombia @ferchomusic

Such a sad end. This was such a loss in so many ways. People should not be treated this way but I fear something like this but worse is down the road for many again. The world is in a downward spiral and history repeats itself over and over. I hope this can not be covered up like so many are trying to do right now by saying it never happened. The proof is there. We just need to open our eyes. Great post!

Powerful...I have been to Dachau and it is hard to describe the experience of going to a former concentration. There is a certain feeling you get being there that is indescribable really and has a deep and lasting affect of you.

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Yeah, hard to fathom what occured in such camps, thanks for reading.