The Birkenau extermination camp (aka Auschwitz II) was built a couple of months later than Auschwitz I. Both are sited in the delta between the rivers So?a and Wis?a. The area is completely flat. An information board provides details about the camp’s site (sorry for the snow flakes). The planned area on the right hand side was never completed, due to the end of the second world war:
After passing the main entrance building, the rails divide the camp into two parts. In the left section, the barracks have been built from bricks:
In the right hand section, the barracks have been built from wood. Most of them are gone except for the chimneys. IIRC the wood has been granted to people who returned to their land after the war:
Some have been preserved (or reconstructed?) though:
That’s what they look inside nowadays…
…and 65 years ago:
There was no intimacy for the inmates, neither elsewhere nor on the toilets:
Here are some photos of the brick barracks and their interior:
Probably a kitchen:
At the end of the rails, a memorial for the victims is sited:
Turning around I took this photo of the main entrance building, seen from the inside:
Jews, women and children usually have been immediately sent to the gas chambers and crematoriums. Men have been divided into those who are able to work and those who have to go to the gas chambers as well. After leaving the deportation trains, the victims thus have been separated in two rows, women and children (left) respectively men (right):
Of the children, twins and triplets usually have been saved to later be abused for cruel pseudomedical experiments. In the next image you can see the man who just sends one victim (or the complete group?) to the right, which means to the gas chamber:
Here’s a plan of crematorium II…
…and its incinerators:
The Nazis destroyed the gas chambers and crematoriums before they left the camp:
And finally, here are three pictures I personally found shocking – though you’ll find even more shocking pictures in the exhibitions of the Auschwitz I camp:
My grandfather was a german ss soldier that fled at the beging of the war because he could not hadle how his fellow germans were being treated so he fled through france and ended up in new york when he was 24. he has never wanted to travel back to germany and he left this entire family behind including his parents. he is now 93 and he wants to see Auschwitz before he dies to leave a memorial.
While the story is sad enough, your grand pa at least did the right thing. My countrymen did not play very nice (which is a euphemism) between 1933 and 1945, terrorizing not only germany but almost all european countries.
I wonder how it was possible that the Nazis and the SS managed to gain control over the complete german society, and even worse, how it was possible that so many civilized (sic) people joined the SS and performed all kinds of cruelty. I’m currently reading a book of Robert Gellately, “Backing Hitler”, which sheds some light on this phenomenon. I can recommend this book.
I hope your grandfather can fulfil his desire. He should, however, be prepared to see and read things in Auschwitz which are simply incredible and hard to imagine. It won’t be an easy trip.
Good evening all,
I have been involved in the study of the 2nd world-war most of my life. I’m going to try and overview this evil as to try and explain in a paragraph or two is impossible.
Most people know that Hitler gave few direct orders and his staff hung to his every word. He give 2/3 people the same jobs so they all competed as in Hitler’s belief in “Survival of the strongest” This resulted in every S.S. Province leader to display extreme actions to get top marks…..The strongest had a conference (Wannsee) “The final Solution” There was no depth of reason for this meeting except to please Hitler!!
So the Jewish nation was once again blamed for other nations stupitity and over indulgence. We must go back a long time to understand how the brave and stalwart jewish nation stood up for their rights and beliefs…They were destroyed time and time again by Roman legions. Even after the worst evilness ever!! (Hitler) This people, this strong nation is unbroken!!!!