AUSCHWITZ, POLAND A SAD PART OF ALL OF OUR HISTORY

Trip Start Oct 01, 2008
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Trip End Sep 02, 2009


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Flag of Poland  , Silesian Voivodeship,
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

We knew we would be up early but 6 a.m. was too early. We were told someone was coming here at 5 a.m. to work, but we didn't know what it would be or how noisy.  A big truck came in to empty the holding tanks and it is just behind us.  

We got out of bed at 7 and it was already warm.  Breakfast over we packed up and drove to the parking lot to begin our visit to the Auschwitz Birkenau. German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945).

We arrived just before 9 and did our own tour.  There is a lot of information presented to read.  We were ahead of all the tour groups which was nice as they made the rooms and buildings hot when they all came in.

I will not go into the sad details of Auschwitz, you can read about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_concentration_camp

It was very moving and sad and at times unbelievable that this happened and to so many people

We hadn’t realized the main camp or Auschwitz I was originally Polish army barracks.  When the Germans took over they used it for administration and a prison for Polish intellectuals and resistance movement members, then also for Soviet Prisoners of War. Common German criminals, "anti-social elements" and 48 German homosexual were also imprisoned there.  Then the Jews, Gypsies and Romains from all over were brought here.

We finished the main camp just before noon so we stopped in at the restaurant and had potato pancakes for lunch.  They were very good, but no sour cream to have with them.

We boarded the shuttle bus to go to Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.  We were surprised at the size of it.  We went into a couple of the wooden buildings, took some pictures of the single standing chimneys of where wooden buildings used to be and then we left.

It was so very hot out and no shade so we left back on the next bus.

Today is an day we will not forget.  We cannot understand how anyone would dispute it ever happened.

We leave and are going to Krakow.  We try to find camp ground #1.  We have a print out, the GPS co-ordinates and it takes us to this little town, down a country road and dead end.  We stop and ask at a large restaurant and find out we have to drive 30 minutes into Krakow.  Away we go.  We find campground #2 and stop there, registration is at the top of a hill, we drive up, register, our spot is down at the bottom and the toilettes are at the top.  I ask if we can camp close to the toilets and she says no.  So we decide to leave as in 30+ weather I really don’t feel like climbing a hill every time I need to go.

The chap at the entrance is very good and points us in the direction of camp ground #1.  We make it here and it is worth the trip.  Very nice.  We set up, have super and clean up.  There is a city pool behind us and we can see and hear everyone having fun in the water on such a hot day. 

Nice place, there is an outside kitchen for us to cook at, a fridge to freeze our ice packs and lots of showers and toilettes that are constantly being cleaned.  Several kitchen areas we and several washers and dryers.  There are lots of mosquitoes too!
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