A Photo Journey Through Auschwitz-Birkenau
One of the few requirements I had when we started planning our RTW trip was that I had to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau. I had never been to the Nazi’s largest concentration camp, where 1.2 million Jews were murdered, among them my family. I had to pay my respects and mourn in my own way. We’ve written about Auschwitz before, but on the anniversary of the Russian liberation of Auschwitz, I wanted to share some pictures from our journey through this terrible place.
The front gate to Auschwitz. The sign reads “Work will set you free.”
A guard tower and the barbed wire fences at Birkenau.
Auschwitz wasn’t solely a concentration camp for Jews. It was for anyone different. Historians estimate that 90% of the people who died in Auschwitz were Jewish, which means approximately 150,000 non-Jews died there as well, including Poles, gypsies, homosexuals, Soviets, and more.
With the Soviet army approaching, the Nazis tried to destroy the evidence of Auschwitz. The Nazis demolished this crematorium before fleeing.
The main gate at Birkenau from the front.
The main gate at Birkenau from inside. These tracks led straight to the crematorium.
A pile of children’s shoes, taken from them before they were murdered.
Many of the families who arrived at Auschwitz were told they were being relocated. They packed their bags, ready to move to their new home. All that awaited them was death. Particularly haunting for me is the suitcase at the bottom left. “…BERMANN.”
Zyklon-B, the gas used in the gas chambers.