One day in Auschwitz

Briar

All-Pro
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Location
Scotland
Real Name
Karen
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My husband wanted to go to Auschwitz while we were staying at Krakow. I wasn't so sure. It sat uncomfortably with me that a place of so much horror and crime against humanity had become one of Poland's biggest tourist attractions. It didn't seem right but not going didn't seem right either. So, with a heavy heart, we went and this is what we saw.

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This picture is quite deceptive. The crowds of tourists following the tour guides were often jam packed into the rooms and were quickly rushed through to allow those behind us to follow. Too fast for me. I had no real sense of where I was and didn't really comprehend the horrors that had occurred there.

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We saw the room full of children's shoes, the suitcases, and saw the photographs on the walls. But it didn't really hit me until we walked into the room containing all the human hair. Then I flipped! Seriously flipped. We were told not to take photographs of the hair but the crowd in front of me ignored the instructions and lifted their cameras and started clicking away. I jumped up waving my hands in front of their cameras and screamed NO at them until they stopped.
 

Isoterica

Hall of Famer
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
It is important that we don't forget these parts of our history so that we can make sure they don't happen again. I'm sorry that your visit had such an effect on you. Maybe they rush people not only because of the crowds but because of the negative energy there. Maybe it's good you didn't spend longer there. Thanks for having the courage to share.
 

bartjeej

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Joined
Nov 12, 2010
Real Name
bart
wow, the "fashion shoot" on the train tracks is beyond bizarre... sorry to hear that people are so disrespectful... good on you for telling them to behave! Not sure I would've dared to do it.
 

nianys

Veteran
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Your photos are absolutely wonderful, and it is incredible how the chronology in them refers to your feelings during the tour. By far the best shots, creative, strong, are at the end, when I suppose you had finally digested being there and felt better about the later, respectful visitors.
I think it's an interesting and important visit to make in one's life.
However, I'm a little wary of how that would impact me. I can be overly sensible, especially where family and children are concerned, and I don't think I could live very well after seing this place "in the flesh".
Thanks to you for sharing both your images and thoughts on that very special experience.
 

Briar

All-Pro
Joined
Oct 27, 2010
Location
Scotland
Real Name
Karen
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The thing about life is that it carries on regardless of what has gone on before. While we were in Birkenau, along with the respectful visitors, we came across deer crossing the ruins of the camp. This place, away from the tour groups, was quite peaceful. Odd to say, it was also quite pleasant. Without the museum and the history books/films, you would have no sense of what happened there. That's the frightening thing about Auschwitz-Birkenau.

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Penfan2010

All-Pro
Joined
Jul 21, 2012
Location
NJ, USA
Real Name
Ed
Very moody and moving photos, especially the imposing photo of the main building behind the barbed wire, the train, and the photos of the Orthodox gentlemen (the dim interior photo with the blurred image of the man and the shot of the man beyond the window in particular). It must have been very, very uncomfortable to be in that environment. Thanks for sharing not just your photos but your thoughts and emotions of the experience.
 

Warren T.

Regular
Joined
Apr 8, 2011
Location
San Francisco
Thanks for sharing your pictures. I think your pictures are superb and very powerful, and I'm glad that you told your story through your descriptions of the pictures too.

Regards,

Warren
 

Pim

Regular
Joined
Apr 21, 2012
Location
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Real Name
Pim
Powerful shots Briar. I never visited Auschwitz, and to be honest I am not sure if I would take my camera if I went. I wonder if it would not be inappropriate to practice our hobby in a place so filled with human tragedy and despair. At the same time I realize it is also because of visits like these that we keep the memory alive so that we may never forget what mankind at its worst is capable of. Your pictures display nothing but the greatest respect and I applaud you for that. These are not holiday pics and as such I think it is important the we share these, so many thanks for posting!
 

thekeddi

Top Veteran
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Location
South Australia
I agree with everyone else, thanks so much for posting these photos for those who have not had the chance to go but need to remember what happened. It was a terrible thing that happened and should never be allowed to happen again. Your photos are amazing and respectful. I too particularly chose the one from inside the window looking out with the man passing. Those poor people and what they went through....................
 

Petach

Hall of Famer
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Location
UK, Essex
Real Name
Peter Tachauer
Some of these photographs are very subtle, yet so powerful they cause grief and pain for something I have no memory of.....only knowledge of through history lessons and archive footage. Photography is a good thing, it reminds, it educates....it records for posterity. Never be ashamed of taking photographs here if it is for these reasons.
 

KianO

Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 27, 2012
Location
Geneva
Hello Karen and thank you very much for sharing your journey and the pictures that convey to me the feeling of the place. Very powerful pictures and profound account of what the place has been and what it is now. How most of the other people felt is a pitty but what is important is how you felt, how it moved you and compelled you to share with us.

Exceptional photos and account, it should be widely shared!
 

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