IMG_8755 - 2011 Auschwitz- Birkenau
Auschwitz- Birkenau Death Camp.
Auschwitz is probably one of the world’s most infamous places and no matter how much knowledge you may or may not have of history, nothing can prepare a person for the visit to such a place. The level of atrocities carried out are indescribable , the sadistic cruelty beyond comprehension by any reasonable individual. Initially established to house prisoners opposed to The Third Reich, Auschwitz was later the centre of the Nazis so called Final Solution of The Jewish Problem. At least one million, one hundred thousand people were murdered there, 90% were Jews from all over Europe. These people were herded together and transported in cattle wagons and shipped by rail to Auschwitz and Birkenau in the most inhumane conditions. Many never made it there.
Auschwitz was the original camp, a disused army barracks converted, this now houses the State Museum of Auschwitz with many harrowing exhibits of Nazi cruelty. It was here the SS tortured and starved prisoners and Dr Joseph Mengele carried out his experiments. Cyclone B was discovered here in an attempt to kill lice as this was becoming a problem as prisoners themselves and their conditions deteriorated. In experimenting with the chemical it was developed as a very quick and efficient way of killing humans by suffocation.
Birkenau is massive and was built as a killing factory. Seventy five per cent of arrivals were instantly condemned to death, by the flick of the finger of the SS Officer. These were gassed in the gas chambers built specially for this purpose. All children under fourteen and the infirm or disabled were immediately disposed of. The other twenty five per cent were the young and fit and they were put to work but three months was a long time to last. The diet had an intake of 1500 calories a day and the work was for fourteen hours a day, it didn’t take long just to starve to death, just three months for the young and strong.
No matter what a person’s political or religious views may be, nobody could be unaffected by a visit to Auschwitz- Birkenau and while it is important to pay respect to those who suffered, it is more important we never forget and insure this cannot happen again.