Krakow & Auschwitz (Oswiecim)
Trip Start Jun 09, 2008
20Trip End Jul 04, 2008
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Where I stayed
It was a longer bus-ride to reach Auschwitz than I had expected. But I was lucky to catch a direct bus for "Auschwitz museum", not "Auschwitz". In fact, the two bus stops were very far away, and if I had taken a bus for Auschwitsz, I might have been lost in the city. The museum was admission free like Dachau, but I took a guided tour. The tour was excellent with an English-speaking guide and a useful handset, and it lasted 3 hours including Auschwitz I and II. The barracks looked like apartment buildings in a quiet town and from their appearances, it may be difficult to imagine how the prisoners' life was. There were a lot of remains collected from prisoners, such as shoes, clothes, suitcases, and hairs, before they were killed in the gas chamber. After the tour for Auschwitzs I, I took a shuttle bus running to Auschwitz II which was free and convenient, if you had checked the timetable beforehand. In Auschwitz II, I found more barracks and the headquater shown in Schindler's List. It was a great place to remind us of the tragedy of the War, but it was a pity that much fewer Japanese were seen in Auschwitz than Prague or Chesky Krumlov. By the way, I don't want to say this, but Japan doesn't have many war remembrance buildings and museums as be seen in Europe or Oceania. So young people don't know about the catastrophes caused by the wars. At the main office of Auschwitz, I saw a school excursion group from a local school. That must have been a nice experience for them.
Schindler's List Auschwitz Scene Video
The film was directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1993, winning seven Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director
Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration Camp
"ARBEIT MACHET FREI means work makes you free." The most horrible scam of the world.
The Auschwitz Album - Visual Evidence of Mass Murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau Video
A lot of pictures taken in Auschwitz-Birkenau of the time illustrates the holocaust with narrations in this video. Mainly, the process to exterminate Jews is described.
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial & Museum Official Site
Some videos related to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Information on the history of Auschwitz in 18 languages, pictures of the goods left by victims are available here.
I had some time left in Krakow after coming back from Auschwitz. According to Rich Stevens' guide, Main Market Square was an only must-see in Krakow. The guidebook said you were able to see a typical European market there, but unfortunately, I couldn't, although I visited there twice: in the morning and evening. Instead, however, I found a cheap Internet cafe near the square and stayed there for 2 hours until the departure for Vienna, searching for information on destinations of Eastern Europe. Then I stopped by at a fast food restaurant in the department next to the station and left Krakow.