Time for the Auschwitz blog:
Poland was a trip I was looking forward to since coming to Europe for the soul reason of Auschwitz. It has always been super intriguing to me to learn about the nazis and what they did. I knew that it would be a heavy day going in but I was still excited to experience it for myself.
The day of Auschwitz was actually the last day in Poland. We stopped there on the way back home for our tour. Everyone had prepared for it the best they could but I don’t think anyone was truly ready for that place. As we toured Auschwitz 1 we got to see collections of belongings such as shoes, pots,pans, suitcases, and other personal items, that belonged to the victims, just piled up in several rooms throughout different buildings. The ones that were the most moving for people were the room that featured the pile of children’s shoes and details about what happened to the children. That one was very moving. The room that was probably the hardest on people is the room with all the hair of female prisoners. There was just so much hair. It filled up an entire room display almost to the ceiling and it was only a small portion of the victims. During Auschwitz 1 we also learned about other things the nazi soldiers would do to prisoners on a day to day basis and got to see where they kept them. Another gruesome part of the tour is the execution wall, where thousands of prisoners were executed with a shot to the head in the same spot in front of this one wall. It was a very heavy day.
We then moved on to Auschwitz Birkrnau, the largest camp that the nazi’s had. During this part of the tour we walked down the same path the prisoners did when getting off the train. We walked down the same road where millions of walked on their way to the gas chambers. We got to see the remains of the blown up gas chambers and were told exactly how they worked. Next we had a long walk through the camp walking right past all of the cabins that held all of the female prisoners. At the end we went inside and got a first hand look at the living conditions these people lived through. Very devastating to see up close and in person. We got to see different rooms where prisoners were executed/ experimented on.
One of the heaviest thing that we saw when we were there was just how big Birkenau actually is. It held so many prisoners. That was one of the most mind blowing things about the tour.
Auschwitz was definitely one of the most memorable things we did in Europe and is something that is hard to explain. You just have to experience it.