Sunday 1 May 2011
Even though today was a day off from driving, we were all up early to get started first thing. Breakfast was wonderful with pancakes on the menu!
We arrived at Auschwitz by 8.30am and it was reasonably quiet (for now). The feeling of this place having such a terrible history was apparent as soon as we arrived. I would say it was hard to describe my feelings as we wandered around the camp if this were true, but it is not, my feelings became very easy to describe. At first it was just pure horror that 1.1 million people of all ages (men, women and children) lost their lives through murder (being gassed, shot, tortured, or having experiments done on them), malnutrition (starvation) and many health reasons or through the way they were kept. Then there was the very apparent sense of feeling sick to my stomach and anger at what had happened here. The sadness that I felt and how one human could do such things to another, as everything that happened was on such a personal basis, from torture to being stripped before execution, either in the gas chamber or before a firing squad.
We drove 2 minutes down the road to Birkenau camp (Auschwitz II), the world’s largest extermination camp covering 425 acres of small wooden or brick buildings with every 4 being fenced off from the next together with barbed wire. It was incredible that such a huge place with one thing in mind – to kill, murder, wipe-out, to end life no matter how you look at it, it was there....
That afternoon I wrote and as I write now I think we all left with sadness in our hearts and sombre thoughts. If I sat here now and wrote down all my thoughts and feelings I would end up writing a book. I am going to leave you now with those thoughts in the hope that tomorrow is a happier day.
For all those who read this please give 1 minute’s thought to all those who lost their lives in the ‘HELL ON EARTH’......
Thank you , Benjy