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Mogs Travels: Auschwitz Birkenau

Mogs Travels

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Auschwitz Birkenau

Auschwitz - You've all heard about it, know what happened there and I'm sure you'll recognise the scene above which is the entrance to Birkenau camp. The reality was very like what we've seen on the tv, the entrance gate at Auschwitz with "Arbeit Macht Frei" ( Work brings freedom), the brick blocks where prisoners slept the display cases with piles of shoes human hair and suitcases, the railway line at Birkenau where Jews and other transportees were off loaded from the cattle trucks.

What was it like to be there? Well strangely sanitised and not initially as upsetting as I had feared. The sun was shining,the grass was neatly mown and large groups of people were wandering around with guides. There was surprisingly little visible trace of the misery & degradation that had gone on there although we were told about it. What I found more disturbing was the video we saw on the coach on the way there, of the people and bodies after liberation. Then as the hours have passed since leaving and I have thought more about it I have felt more distressed and angry. The torture those people went through is unimaginable. The average life expectancy of the 25% not immediately sent to the gas chambers was less than six months for men and 3 months for women, death being due to starvation disease or execution. The cruelty of the SS is beyond belief. How anyone could conceive such a scheme and carry it through is beyond me. More apalling is the realisation that such things still happen in the world. I'm really lost for words & sick thinking about it. Just visit the place yourself if you ever have the chance.


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At July 3, 2008 at 9:45 PM , Blogger René said...

Hi both.
reading what you put there will always bring a lump to your throat,even watching films fetches a tear to the eye.
I don't think you need to reply to us all, you are doing a FAB job with the blog, keep up the good work.

At July 4, 2008 at 8:05 PM , Blogger Mr & Mrs Mogs said...

Hi, I like replying so you know we appreciate the comments. It's the same as us liking comments then we know people are reading and enjoying it.


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