Auschwitz I

How did I not know this? I’ve read so many books, and have seen so many movies, and yet, I didn’t realize that what I visualize in my mind as Auschwitz is not the one and only Auschwitz. Auschwitz I is the first labor/ death camp that was built in Krakow. Then they expanded. Not just once, but twice. There were three camps known as Auschwitz in what was later termed the Death Triangle.


But let’s start with Auschwitz I, which has been turned into a Museum. You can rent an audio headset and wander through the buildings on your own, or you can go with a Tour Guide, which I am glad I chose to do. Our tour guide, Margritte, painted such a vivid picture of what it must have been like there  — as a prisoner who’d survived insurmountable odds already and was still enduring tortures. We can’t forget that.

I don’t need to tell you what happened there. We know. But seeing the displays and walking the grounds where all these atrocities actually occurred was one of the most sobering experiences ever.

Here are some of the displays our guide talked about as we walked through what life was like in those barbaric living conditions.

I highly recommend a visit there. It’s such an unfathomable part of world history. But Auschwitz I was not the actual place I associated with the name.  The place I really see in my mind when I think of “Auschwitz” is Birkenau.

That’s next…


4 responses to “Auschwitz I

  1. Oh, Auschwitz is such a hard visit. Then, when I got home and was telling my clients about my trip (I used to be a social worker with homeless people) a lot of them didn’t know about it. They didn’t know about the Holocaust. And a lot of them were ex-offenders, so I was like, you think YOU were in prison…

  2. Auschwitz has such a sad history. But I’d visit just to learn about the mistakes that human could make. Let’s hope hisotry will not repeat itself on this one.

  3. What Sahara wrote made my mouth drop open!! How has this dark piece of history not fallen on everyone’s ears? So sad to hear about people not even having a clue about the Holocaust.

  4. Actually Auschwitz is located in Oswiecim (Auschwitz is Oswiecim in German language), not Krakow, but it’s nearby 🙂
    It would be nice if it was mentioned that these were Nazi camps located in Poland, as so many foreign media spread incorrect information stating “Polish death camps” 😦

    The history of this place was terrible – I’ve been there so many times, yet every time it makes my heart feel so heavy. Jews, Polish, Hungarians… so many innocent people were tortured, abused, killed in that place.

    I remember the worst thing I’ve seen was the room with all the hair they took from the victims to make clothing or sell… Gas chambers were also terrifying 😦

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