Auschwitz

I almost didn't make it. I slept 30 mins too late and almost missed my train. The train got delayed by 30 mins just sitting between stations at one point which would have gotten me to the station after my tour started, but the driver decided to make it feel like the train was going to fly off the tracks and we made it to Osweicim just 5 minutes late. The I had to walk to the museum from the station and made it to the museum just 6 minutes before my tour started. And then I went to check in and I had to go put my bag in storage. I didn't have any money but they took it anyway and said I could pay them at the end. I ultimately joined my group two minutes before we started.

The museum was tough. That stuff is never easy to see. Actually being there is a feeling like no other. I never realized just how big the camps were. Birkenau is 40 square km, or about 15.44 square miles. My tour guide was wonderful. She has worked as a guide for 15 years and was incredibly knowledge. I wish I had a picture of the standing room but that was one of the places where pictures were forbidden. In addition pictures of the inside of the Chambers, the hair, and a few other things were forbidden. The standing rooms were torture chamber where, in the room the size of a phone booth, the Nazis forced 4-6 people to stand overnight. In addition there were dark rooms with absolutely no light and starving rooms, which people were sent to solely to starve to death. In 1941, a Catholic priest, Maximilian Kolbe was in the crowd as 10 were selected to be taken there after three inmates escaped. One of the ten selected shouted out that he didn't want to die as he had a wife and kids. Kolbe volunteered to take his place. The guards let him, and Kolbe survived for two weeks before being killed by lethal injection as the guards wanted to use the room again. Kolbe was canonized by John Paul II and there is a memorial plaque in the starving room he was in. The guy who Kolbe volunteered for lived to be 94.


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