20th July Auschwitz – Birkenau

20 Jul

Nothing can prepare you for the size of the concentration camps. The structures are precisely laid out in symmetrical shape around the railway siding that bought the prisoners in from all over Europe. Prisoners were sorted on arrival into those that could work and those that could not. Women with young babies, children under fourteen, the sick, the elderly and disabled were taken straight to the gas chambers to be murdered. The rest were put to work in such harsh conditions that they usually only lasted weeks. It is all so hard to understand as people are generally kind and look after each other …. why?

Although distressing, we would stongly recommend a visit to Auschwitz, it makes you realise that what ever little grumbles we have in our daily lives, we are very very lucky. It certainly puts things in perspective.

If you are making a visit here in a camper, there is a great new carpark just outside Birkenau. We actually stayed two nights as there is a lot to see. You can then walk over to camp 1 (Auschwitz) and pick up the tour there and they provide a shuttle back to Birkenau and a brief tour there. Cost of tour around £9 per person for about 3 hours. Camping for now is free.

Plan for tomorrow is to head to Krakow.

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