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Showing posts from January, 2015

Auschwitz: 70 Years On

I made a fascinating visit to the twin death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau back in late 2013 on a trip to Poland. Situated around 40 miles from Krakow in the town of Oswiecim, it was a place that defied imagination. The sheer scale of the horrors perpetrated across the two camps is hard to take in; the millions involved, the conditions, the calculated cruelty, the distances people - mainly, but not exclusively Jews - were forced to travel from their homes where the Nazis had taken control, many conned into thinking they were making a new start in a better place.  Auschwitz - with its displays of shoes, prosthetic limbs, suitcases and hair taken from the newly arrived inmates - was bad enough. The haunting black and white images of the prisoners in their regulation striped uniforms - with their arrival dates meticulously recorded and the date of their death showing how short their time there usually was - spoke of untold horrors, cruelty and neglect. However, the extent of Birkenau,