Visit to Auschwitz, thoughtsOn September 28, 2014 by Emil
I arrived in Krakow today via night train from Budapest. Being quite early I decided to visit Auschwitz. I’ll do another post about the logistics and visit and pictures, but today I just wanted talk a bit about the overall visit. As just about everyone else who goes will say, I think everyone should go. It’s certainly not an enjoyable experience – far from it. I saw at least one lady having an anxiety attack. The weight of history feels very heavy there and sometimes I found myself just looking down at the ground to… I don’t know, avoid seeing the camp and thinking of what it represented.
The primary visiting area is Auschwitz 1, the original camp, and then there is an optional visit to a much bigger sub-camp called Birkenau, or Auschwitz 2. I think you must visit both sites. If Auschwitz 1, boggles the mind with the cruelty and inhumanity that people are capable of, Birkenau boggles the mind with the scale at which those acts can be committed. An estimated 1,000,000 people were murdered at Birkenau, 90% of all the victims of Auschwitz. To put that in perspective, the city of San Francisco has about 830,000 residents.
So if you ever have the chance, go. Pay your respects. And remember, because as George Santayana’s said: “The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again.”
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