Matsimitsu

Day four

Auschwitz-Birkenau


Between Zator (where Energylandia is) and Katowice, where our flight leaves, lies another well-known town called Oświęcim.

This town is better known for it's German name: Auschwitz-Birkenau. The place where 1.3 million people lost their lives.

Arbeit macht frei
Watch tower barbed wire
Between the barracks

Because of Corona you can't wander around yourself and you have to take a tour that lasts for 3.5 hours. Something we didn't really look forward too (we're more the wandering around types), but in hindsight it was a good choice as the tour guide explaned a lot more than was written on the signs throughout the area.

Watch tower Stairs Watch tower
Watch tower

In all it was quite depressing to hear all the misery placed upon the inhabitants of Auschwitz. The cloudy weather and rain added to the atmosphere.

Shoes Pictures
Wall
bathroom Gallow

Yes, that is a portable gallow in the second picture above, at the end of the hallway.

Greenery
Schonungsblock Between the barracks
Watch tower
Watch commanders room Barbed wire

During the tour you'll get to hear the difference between the Auschwitz camps, how it came to be and how they operated (work camp vs death camp).

Halt More barbed wire
Barbed wire More barbed wire

Where camp one was mainly for prisoners to be put to work, the second camp was for systematic extermination and the conditions there were even worse.

The main part consisted of poorly made wooden barracks that offered little protection agains the elements. And you were lucky if you get to live in those, because that means you made it through the first selection that happened at this platform in the photo below.

Anyone not considered fit to work by a doctor would be directed to the gas chambers.

Auschwitz 2
Auschwitz 2 Auschwitz 2
The gate
Watch tower Even more barbed wire Sinks

Katowice

After this quite depressing morning we headed to the train station to get a train to Katowice, which took a good hour.

After quick freshen-up in the hotel we headed out for dinner and then to bed.

Chillin
Miso Soup WW2 memorial
Miso soup Okonomiyaki Sesame Ice Cream