DEN VINCENT IN THE CITY OF KRAKOW - Poland

 

   with Jeng Verina

 

 

The AUSCHWITZ & BIRKENAU Concentration Camps (Tracing the HOLOCAUST)

 

Auschwitz-Birkenau is the largest camp of concentration and extermination of the Nazi Germany used during the II World War. It's situated in Poland, near the city of Oświęcim.
It was built in 1940 by Nazists and there were exterminated over 3 milions of people (Which Jews, German criminals, polish intellectuals, war prisoners, politic enemies, and homosexuals).

 

Entrance to Auschwitz "Work will set you free" greeted (Arbeit Macht Frei) all inmates as they returned from torturous days of labour

 

Auschwitz (Polish Oświęcim) town in southern Poland, situated on the Vistula River about 32 miles southwest of Kraków, and site of the largest concentration camp and death camp run by Nazi Germany during World War II (1939-1945). The name Auschwitz is commonly applied to the complex of death and concentration camps near the Polish town of Oświęcim.

 

View down the double barbed wire fences on the camp boundaries, the original double layer fences are still visible

 

The Auschwitz complex was the site of scientifically planned and efficiently executed genocide during World War II. Accurate statistics were not kept, but the estimates of deaths at the camp complex range from 1.5 million to as many as 4 million. Camp Commandant Rudolf Höss admitted to a minimum figure of 2.5 million deaths at Auschwitz. Jews comprised the largest number of victims, and Auschwitz has become the prime symbol of what became known as the Holocaust of European Jewry; at least one-third of the estimated 5 million to 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II died there. Large numbers of Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Roma (Gypsies), and homosexuals also died at Auschwitz.

 

Spectacles taken from dead prisoners

 

Remains of limbs and walking aids from those killed in the camp

 

Exhibition of suitcases with the names of the deportees still clearly visible

 

Victim's shoes displayed in a huge case

 

Dreadful showcase of human hair taken from victims and sold to make cloth. 7 tons were discovered when the camp was liberated.

 

The Nazis established Auschwitz in April 1940 under the direction of Heinrich Himmler, chief of two Nazi organizations—the Nazi guards known as the Schutzstaffel (SS), and the secret police known as the Gestapo. The camp at Auschwitz originally housed political prisoners from occupied Poland and from concentration camps within Germany. Construction of nearby Birkenau (Brzenzinka), also known as Auschwitz II, began in October 1941 and included a women's section after August 1942.

 

On the way to selection, the selection ramp: Work or Death

 

Auschwitz II - Birkenau. 3km from Auschwitz I. View inside towards the main Gate or "Gate of Death"

 

Tracks for the arriving trains

 

Birkenau had four gas chambers, designed to resemble showers, and four crematoria, used to incinerate bodies. Approximately 40 more satellite camps were established around Auschwitz. These were forced labor camps and were known collectively as Auschwitz III. The first one was built at Monowitz and held Poles who had been forcibly evacuated from their hometowns by the Nazis.

 

Birkenau covered 425 acres with over 300 buildings (the scale was really massive).

Only 45 brick and 22 wood buildings of the original 300 remain.

Most wooden structures were burned by the retreating Germans but their outlines are still visible.

While the wood parts of buildings burned, the brick chimneys remain to this day.

The vastness of Birkenau cannot be captured by any photo, eventhough much is in ruin.

 

Prisoners were transported from all over Nazi-occupied Europe by rail, arriving at Auschwitz in daily convoys. Arrivals at the complex were separated into three groups. One group went to the gas chambers within a few hours; these people were sent to the Birkenau camp, where more than 20,000 people could be gassed and cremated each day. At Birkenau, the Nazis used a cyanide gas called Zyklon-B, which was manufactured by a pest-control company.

 

 

Den Vincent at one of the barracks in KL Auschwitz II

 

Inside one of the barracks

 

The inside of the toilet barracks, toilets for hundreds

 

A second group of prisoners were used as slave labor at industrial factories for such companies as I. G. Farben and Krupp. At the Auschwitz complex 405,000 prisoners were recorded as laborers between 1940 and 1945. Of these about 340,000 perished through executions, beatings, starvation, and sickness. Some prisoners survived through the help of German industrialist Oskar Schindler, who saved about 1000 Polish Jews by diverting them from Auschwitz to work for him, first in his factory near Kraków and later at a factory in what is now the Czech Republic. A third group, mostly twins and dwarfs, underwent medical experiments at the hands of doctors such as Josef Mengele, who was also known as the "Angel of Death."

 

Original images of wooden barracks taken just after the camp was liberated.

Wooden barracks used to accomodate up to 1,000 prisoners or 50 horses.

 

The camp was staffed partly by prisoners, some of whom were selected to be kapos (orderlies) and sonderkommandos (workers at the crematoria). Members of these groups were killed periodically. The kapos and sonderkommandos were supervised by members of the SS; altogether 6000 SS members worked at Auschwitz.

 

Crematorium 1 and gas chamber at the Auschwitz II operated from August 15, 1940 until July 1943. Documents show 340 corpses could be burned each day

The only remaining gas chamber at the Auschwitz extermination camp, this was the small original one.....no exit

 

Inside the gas chambers
Prisoners were told by the SS to undress. Showers were fitted in the ceiling of the gas chambers, but were not connected to the water supply.
After the doors were locked, the SS men poured the small pills of Cyclon B, that released the deadly gas with the human body temperature.
Within 15 minutes, the 2000 people trapped inside the room were dead.

 

The 2 crematoria and gas chambers at the end of the unloading ramps were blown up by the retreating SS.

View of Crematoria 2 destroyed by the SS. No IV was partially destroyed by Jewish prisoners during the revolt on 7th Oct 1944.

 

The down stairs to Crematorium (background is destroyed crematorium)

 

By 1943 resistance organizations had developed in the camp. These organizations helped a few prisoners escape; these escapees took with them news of exterminations, such as the killing of hundreds of thousands of Jews transported from Hungary between May and July 1944. In October 1944 a group of sonderkommandos destroyed one of the gas chambers at Birkenau. They and their accomplices, a group of women from the Monowitz labor camp, were all put to death.

 

Cans which had contained the poison gas

 

Where the dead bodies were burned

 

When the Soviet army marched into Auschwitz to liberate the camp on January 27, 1945, they found about 7600 survivors abandoned there. More than 58,000 prisoners had already been evacuated by the Nazis and sent on a final death march to Germany.

 

Was the memory wall were many prisoners were executed

"From 1941 to 1943, the SS shot several thousand people at the wall in this courtyard between blocks 10 and 11. Most of those executed were Polish political prisoners, above all, the leaders and members of clandestine organisations and people who helped escapees or facilitated contacts with the outside world. Poles who had been sentenced to death in nearby towns were also brought here to be shot, including men, women, and even children who had been taken hostage in revenge for operations of the Polish resistance against German occupation."

 

Painting execution blok 11

Rapportenfuhrer Palitch shoots with small caliber rifle while the big boss of Politsche Abtailung Maximillian Grabner (on the right with cigar) watching the execusions

 

Holocaust (dari bahasa Yunani 'holokauston' yang berarti 'persembahan kurban bakaran') adalah genosida (pemusnahan) sistematis yang dilakukan orang-orang Jerman (Nazi) terhadap berbagai kelompok etnis, agama, dan bangsa pada Perang Dunia II.

Sungguh peristiwa brutal spektakular yang sangat menyedihkan sekaligus menjijikkan bagi umat manusia sepanjang sejarah. Manusia ternyata dapat berbuat keji (terhadap sesama manusia ciptaan Allah) melebihi binatang apapun.

 

 

 

 

In 1946 Poland founded a museum at the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in remembrance of its victims. By 1994, about 22 million visitors—700,000 annually—had passed through the iron gates that bear the cynical motto 'Arbeit macht frei' (work makes one free).

 

Ashes of the victims human body collected into the ponds

 

 

Between the ruined crematoria are tributes laid at the International Monument to the Victims of Auschwitz

 

 

 

 

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