Auschwitz- Birkenau

Trip Start Jun 30, 2005
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10
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Trip End Jul 22, 2005


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Monday, July 11, 2005

Mon July 11 2005
Krakow to Warsaw
For a majority of the tour, we were exposed to WW2 history at each respective location. Many aspects of the war that I had never even considered were revealed. Walking through each city's streets made it possible to visualizing what life might have been like for those living in Europe over sixty years ago. Nothing however, could have prepared me for the impact of visiting the Auschwitz- Birkenau Concentration Camp.
When we first arrived at Auschwitz, we viewed a film that accounted for the historical events that led up to the Holocaust. The graphic images were significantly disturbing. Towards the end of the film, reference was made to the gates at the entrance of Auschwitz that read, "Al mach freit" (work shall bring you freedom). This phrase of course was a terrible lie. No one who entered the gates of Auschwitz would ever be free. Even for those who lived, their souls had endured the most atrocious genocide in the history of humanity. As we exited the theater, our first view was of the gates of Auschwitz. Very few of us were able to contain our tears.
For the remainder of the day, we walked through the buildings were unimaginable crimes were committed against humanity. I experienced the most unsettling feeling as I walked through the gas chambers. So many references have been made to these death sites but it was such an unreal feeling to have actually stood there.
After being at the main camp, we went to Birkenau. A very famous sight where people were transported. The was the sight were it was decided whether or not you would suffer an immediate death or have a undetermined amount of time.
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