Det har været en lang, uhyggelig og lærerig dag.
Auschwitz 1 er den første lejr, der ligger i gamle, polske militær-barakker. For at komme ind, skal man igennem porten med den store løgn: "Arbeit macht frei".
This morning I got up early and took the train at 7.14 a.m. from Krakow in order to get to Auschwitz. The advantage of leaving this early is, that you are allowed to walk around Auschwitz alone if you arrive before 10 a.m. After 10, you MUST follow a guide, since there are so many visitors.
It has been a long, scary and informative day.
Auschwitz 1 was the first camp, located in old, Polish, military barracks. In order to get in, you have to enter the gate with the great lie: "Arbeit macht frei".
Der var pigtråd i 2-3 lag, hele vejen rundt. Lejren var ikke særlig stor, syntes jeg, og det mest skræmmende var nok, hvor normale alle husene så ud! De fleste havde 2 eller 3 etager, og det lignede et gammelt hospital eller noget lignende. Eftersom jeg gik rundt uden guide, havde jeg mulighed for at kigge på så mange særudstillinger jeg havde lyst til. Mange af stederne var jeg nærmest alene, og til sidst var jeg ligesom "mæt" af de forskellige mindre udstillinger. Så jeg så ikke det hele. Men meget!
There was 2-3 layers of barbed wire, completely surrounding the camp. The camp was kind of small in my eyes, and the most scary part was how completely normal all the houses looked! Most had 2-3 floors, and looked like an old hospital or something like that. Since I was walking around without a guide, I had the possibility of looking at as many special exhibitions that I wanted. In many of these places, I was almost alone, but in the end, I was full with all those smaller exhibitions. So I didn't see everything. But a lot of it!
The washing room had long sinks with cold water and didn't look very inviting. On the walls were paintings of for instance these men bathing their horses. Another wall had a painting of kittens, licking themselves. Totally way out, considering the reality for these prisoners!
Der var også et gaskammer, som nazisterne ikke havde ødelagt. På væggene lignede det at der var kradsemærker fra de, der blev gasset derinde. Det passede ihvertfald ca. med, hvor højt (og lidt højere) jeg kunne nå med en arm, og også med 5 negle.
Det var et lille gaskammer, men som de andre meget effektivt. Folk fik selv lov at klæde sig af, og ved siden af gaskammeret lå rummet med ovne, så de ikke skulle slæbes alt for langt. Man må sige, at det var effektivt og grundigt. På den allermest uhyggelige måde.
The camp also had a gas chamber that wasn't destroyed by the nazis. On the walls it looked like scratching marks from those being gassed in there. It fit with how high (and a bit higher) I could reach with an arm, and also with 5 nails.
This was a tiny gas chamber, but like the others, very efficient. People undressed themselves, and next to the gas chamber was the crematorium, so they didn't have to carry them too far. In every way very efficient and thorough. In the scariest way possible.
The nazis did everything to make money on their victims. For instance, they sold the women's hair, but some sacks of hair were found by the Russian army, when liberating the camp. This pile is all hair. I guess it is around 1.5-2 meters high, 2 meters deep and around 10 meters long.
I also saw this pile of enamel. Bowls, pots, plates and so on. The picture is taken on the second floor in a building, and the floor in the neighboring room has been removed, showing the first floor. It is actually not a pile. It is an entire room filled with stuff!
Blandt andet var der denne fine, håndstrikkede babysweater. Af alle tingene gjorde den et stort indtryk. Der er strikket meget kærlighed ind i sådan en sweater!
There was a little showcase with babies clothes. That hadn't been sold on, and that shouldn't be used by anyone anymore......
Among other things this pretty, hand-knitted baby-sweater. Of all the things it left a huge impression on me. A sweater like this holds a lot of love from the knitter!
Afterwards I went to Birkenau. If I found Auschwitz a bit small, I got to see a "real" KZ camp here! Enormous. Most wooden barracks are gone, but all the chimneys are still there, showing were they were.
This place also had fences all the way round, and down through the middle, in between the main areas, are the rails.
Heldigvis skulle jeg hjem til Krakow igen. Billetten var til en bestemt afgang, for ellers havde det nok været svært at blive færdig.
I morgen skal jeg vist lave noget mere hyggeligt og rart, tænker jeg. Og I skal også se de sidste nye strømper!
This is were the trains arrived with all the people going straight into the gas chamber. This camp is the one we always see in movies, and as such, it is more easily recognized.
Fortunately, I had to go back home to Krakow again. The ticket was for a certain time, and that was good. Otherwise I would have had a hard time finishing.
Tomorrow I'll be doing something nicer, I think. And you need to see the latest socks!