Auschwitz and Birkenau...........

Trip Start Jul 06, 2006
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Trip End Sep 26, 2006


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Flag of Poland  ,
Friday, September 15, 2006

Hi Guys,

I am in Krackow Poland where i have been the last few days. It hasn't in the past been a popular tourist destination but it is starting to really fire up. Three years ago there wasn't even one youth hostel in the city and now there are sixty. I made my way from Prague stopping at a small town called Dalecin to get away from the big cities for a while. After a while they all look very similar with their abundant baroque architecture, castles, churches and squares. Dalecin is a farming town where not alot goes on at all besides tending to crops. I spent the two days i was there relaxing, mountain biking and horse riding. I'm spewing the paintball club wasn't open while i was there.

Krackow is surrounded by parks and medieval castles all in different states of ruin. It has been lucky to escape relatively unscaved through the wars. I visited Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps yesterday and was definitely moved by the fact i was standing on the same soil and in the same buildings where such atrocities were committed by the German SS between 1941 and 1945. There are piles of shoes, combs, clothes, artificial limbs, glasses and other personal effects that form evidence that fill whole buildings. The SS also shaved peoples heads and sold the hair to make material with, they had a no wastage policy. After spending almost a whole day being led around the camps and even standing in the actual gas chambers and crematoriums i thought alot about how i would have reacted if i was a Jew living in Europe during WWII. Would i have tried to escape before being captured?, would i have excepted i was going to die if i was caught, or formed some sort of escape plan?

It wasn't the nicest place to have visited but i'm glad i have seen it with my own eyes and built on the knowledge we were all taught at school.

Tonight i'm heading off on another crazy train ride across Europe. I realised after being prompted a little that i haven't been to Paris yet! I will leave Krackow tonight at 1025 and head to Paris via Vienna and Munich before arriving at 935pm tomorrow night. I'll need a few bottles of wine for this trip but will have to watch myself i can't afford to end miles from where i'm going.

Toot toot,

Lucas
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