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shatners

Poland Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II Birkenau Poland Nov 16

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This was a very emotional day spent exploring the two sites, humbling, harrowing but something I have always wanted to see for myself, to understand first hand the scale of the atrocities committed by the Nazis… I have to say though, even stood there in Birkenau looking along the platform site back at the gatehouse whilst you can take in the sheer size of the camp its just impossible to comprehend the numbers of people who lost their lives there.  Walking through the site was chilling and incredibly emotional and even after almost a full day of walking around them both I doubt we saw half of it.

 

It was a very low striking hazy sunlit morning so I shot both sites in black and white to try and capture the atmosphere and some of the striking shadows and lines.

 

History

 

At its peak of operation, Auschwitz consisted of several divisions. The original camp, known as Auschwitz I, housed between 15,000 and 20,000 political prisoners. Those entering its main gate were greeted with an infamous and ironic inscription: “Arbeit Macht Frei,” or “Work Makes You Free.”

 

Auschwitz II, located in the village of Birkenau, or Brzezinka, was constructed in 1941 on the order of Heinrich Himmler (1900-45), commander of the “Schutzstaffel” (or Select Guard/Protection Squad, more commonly known as the SS), which operated all Nazi concentration camps and death camps. Birkenau, the biggest of the Auschwitz facilities, could hold some 90,000 prisoners. It also housed a group of bathhouses where countless people were gassed to death, and crematory ovens where bodies were burned. The majority of Auschwitz victims died at Birkenau. More than 40 smaller facilities, called subcamps, dotted the landscape and served as slave-labor camps. The largest of these subcamps, Monowitz, also known as Auschwitz III, began operating in 1942 and housed some 10,000 prisoners.

 

During World War II more than 1 million people lost their lives at Auschwitz. In January 1945, with the Soviet army approaching, Nazi officials ordered the camp abandoned and sent an estimated 60,000 prisoners on a forced march to other locations. When the Soviets entered Auschwitz, they found thousands of emaciated detainees and piles of corpses left behind.

 

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I hate to say it, and i really do, as these pictures are a brilliant account of an absolutely amazing place but it's a place where you can go and take a tour around. Please tell me you hopped the fence into Auschwitz and explored it? Otherwise unfortunately it's in the same category as all the Chernobyl threads on Urban Exploration forums :( 

 

 

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Absolutely stunning photos. I'm not sure if I want to see it with my own eyes to be honest, visiting the holocaust exhibition at the Imperial war Museum was upsetting enough for me. Is it 'Urbex'? Nah not really, and this is a forum for 'urbex' but it's certainly an interesting historical site so as an explorer I can see the appeal in visiting 

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Thanks for the kind comments chaps :-)

 

No problem at all with a mod deleting the thread if its not appropriate, I wasn't going to post it as your right there is no fence jumping required (thank god... electrified barb wire!) but there was another Auschwitz post when I searched so thought it may be of interest.   

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3 hours ago, shatners said:

Thanks for the kind comments chaps :-)

 

No problem at all with a mod deleting the thread if its not appropriate, I wasn't going to post it as your right there is no fence jumping required (thank god... electrified barb wire!) but there was another Auschwitz post when I searched so thought it may be of interest.   

 

That's cool, no need for it to be deleted, especially on Remembrance Sunday! 

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