Poland | Auschwitz

Auschwitz

 

The infamous place where 1.1 million Jews were killed by the Nazis during WWII. There are 2 separate concentration camps here, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II, or “Birkenau”, and I cannot stress enough how important it is that you go to both camps to understand how horrific these events were.

 

It is a chilling and quiet place and it feels very strange to take photos of it all after reading about what happened. We took a guided tour here, showing us everything from a display of old shoes and other clothing belonging to the people who died, to inside the gas chambers themselves. Even though some of the chambers were large, you can’t help but feel claustrophobic and uneasy. 

 

At the other site, Birkenau, you get a real sense of how big an operation the Nazis had going on. Following the train tracks through the gate and passed all of the thousands of barracks where Jews were imprisoned, it feels like it goes on forever. You can enter a lookout tower near the gate and then you seen how large the camp is. When we visited it had just opened and there was nobody else around… quite a weird feeling whilst imagining the thousands of people who stood where you are standing roughly 80 years ago.

© James Lilley 2018