Since I’m in Poland visiting Krakow, It would be a shame not to visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum as well. I was kinda scared because I didn’t actually know what to expect. I mean, I knew about the Auschwitz, of course, but nothing could have prepared me for what I’ve seen there…
My mind was in chaos and my heart was pumping like crazy when I approached this museum. Now, before I even start talking about what I’ve seen there, I just want to say that I’m not gonna talk about historical details, dates etc. I just want to write about emotions, feelings, an experience of victims inside of this horrible place. If you want to know more about this part of a history, I strongly recommend you to watch the movie – Schindler’s list. I’ve seen it after I visited Auschwitz.
Entering the death camp
First, you have to buy a ticket. They have tour guides and you’re not allowed to walk throughout the camp on your own! My guide was one great guy (I think he’s British because of his perfect British English). The tour started and we were all walking towards the main gate where stands the sign “Arbeit macht Frei!” which means “Work sets you free!”. Well, that was a big lie! As the guide told us, people thought they came there (mostly Jews) in order to work for Hitler and after the war, they will return to their homes. Nobody told them that they are on the road to death. Men were separated from women and children and most of the old people were killed immediately because they are weak and couldn’t work. Then they went to the registration desk, one by one in order to register themselves by name and number. They were asked about their occupation so they can be divided. People gave their personal belongings to them as well not knowing that they are going to be robbed.
Victims worked every day, the whole day. They were hungry, dirty and exhausted. Every now on then, doctors came to check if they were able to work, and if they weren’t, they would be killed. Women put their own blood as a “blusher” on their faces so they wouldn’t be pale in front of the doctors. The killed ones were burned and in one moment people thought it was snowing, but no, those were the ashes of burned people.
In this museum, you can see the cans of the Zyklon-B which was the poison they killed people. One of the most disturbing things is the room filled with real human hair cut from the estimated 140,000 victims. There are thousands of suitcases, glasses, personal belongings in general. They slept on the floor, toilets were not private, there are dungeons (jails without windows) where you can’t sit down because they are so narrow, I mean, I can’t even imagine the horror they went through. I mean, they even did experiments on those people! Medical experiments!
The scariest part was going into the gas chamber. The actual gas chamber! Poor victims didn’t know that they are going to die. Nazis told them that this would be like a “spa” for them and that they will fill the room with some essential oils which will clean their lungs and improve their health. That was a terrible lie. They threw gas cans throughout the ceiling holes. It took only a couple of seconds to kill them all. Then they were all burned. Up to 6 000 victims were gassed with Zyklon-B each day at Auschwitz. Over 1.1 million people died. Estimated.
Seeing this death camp was extremely emotional and so difficult to watch. I couldn’t speak for several hours after I got out. I just went numb.
Check out my VIDEO from Auschwitz.