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On the road again ,day 3 : Auschwitz I & Auschwitz II – Birkenau

Yesterday I went to Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II – Birkenau. This was one of the most fascinating, amazing places I’ve ever visited (and I’ve seen the Pyramids, Petra, most of the popular European capitals,etc). Of course, I am a WWII/Nazi  history enthusiast so I was visiting a place very relevant to my interests but even if you have little idea about the 2nd World War as a whole, it should be an incredible experience !
I am not the very sentimental type and since I’m interested in the history that the place is part of, I looked at it more from a historical point of view than an emotional one but you do feel that you are in a special place, a place where many people lost their lives and suffered and where some of their ashes and remains are mixed with the soil.
It’s probably a good idea to have some knowledge of the place and the war before you go though cause I feel that is the perfect place to learn about respect and equality and the value of each individual and their lives but it can just as well promote hatred towards a group of people (germans alive in the 30s-40s and, thus, part of the Nazi regime and war) which is not fair either because not everyone was a monster. One must learn to only accuse people truly involved and separate them from the rest, otherwise it’s just like racism.
Ok, moving on !
How you get there, you might be wondering ? Well, from Krakow you can take a train or a bus. I would like to advice everyone to go without an organized group,don’t book a day trip, just go on your own, it’s easy . There are 2 places : Auschwitz I (the “Arbeit macht frei” one) and Auschwitz II – Birkenau (the famous train tracks image and the wooden barracks one).
If you take the train (and probably the bus as well but I suggest the train, it’s comfortable) then you get out of the station at Oswiecim and go to the right, you’ll soon see a sign for Auschwitz. You can walk to both Auschwitz I(a little further away) and Auschwitz II – Birkenau(the first one as you leave Oswiecim). If you’re going on your own and want to be free to visit at your own pace ,you should first go to Birkenau(at one point you take a right,there’s a sign,cross a bridge,walk a bit and you’ll see it). Birkenau is HUGE, I spent 4 hours there. It’s ,for me, the most interesting one and the one where you really get a feel of a concentration camp . It’s also quite a beautiful place (aesthetically), it’s all green with trees and grass and open spaces ,the buildings are made of red brick or wood. You can see a lot of things there and just walk around, feel the immensity of the place .
Then you can take the free shuttle that runs every half hour or so, from Birkenau to Auschwitz and back. At Auschwitz I I suggest ,if you go during the summer, to go after 3pm because before 3pm you have to join a guided tour but after 3pm you can walk just as you do in Birkenau. Oh and they are both FREE, it’s all FREE.
Auschwitz I, with its Arbeit Mach Frei sign, is smaller than Birkenau, all the buildings are multiple story red brick structures ,it’s also aesthetically nice, I think they weren’t built by the Nazis(at least not all). Inside some of the buildings there are exhibitions about the HOlocaust and WWII (including the famous hair and confiscated stuff).
Anyway, as I said, it was an amazing experience, everyone should visit it at least once in their life to learn about history and life and the human nature.

Now pictures !

Mai tarziu scriu si in romana

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Posted by on 24/06/2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Now God’s guilty ! What do we do now? Now, we pray!

      

        I know u all must think I’m boring or something but bare with me for a couple of minutes, it’s worth it !
      
       Anyone who knows me should normally also know that I am a sucker for history and especially the history of WW2 in general and Nazi Germany in particular + Germany after WW1 and first couple of years after WW2. For me , as terrible and tragic as it is, historically speaking this is the most fascinating, interesting period . So, I watch everything I can get my hands on relating to this period and yesterday I saw a tv play made for BBC in 2008 that struck a chord with me, it has become one of my favorite productions ever and that I recommend to everyone with working neurons and especially to people who have a conflict with their faith, who have lost it or never had it (no,it’s not going to try to convince u there’s a God, far from it, that’s why it’s interesting).
  
       I love studying people and their motivations, I like studying groups of people and especially people who are in special positions. My therapist says I am like a profiler and I should use this quality cause others pay loads of money to study and acquire it while I just naturally have it. It’s the main reason why I am terribly interested in the Vatican as an institution ,the inner workings, the things that happen behind the scenes, relations between the people at the top ,the Pope, the Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops with important roles. I also have a great fascination with politics for the same reasons.
    It’s why I am fascinated by Nazi Germany and the people in Hitler’s proximity. Contrary to what people might think …these guys were regular people, some bad but some actually good ,some stupid and some talented and smart. Germany was always known for its good engineers and managers, it is where it is for a reason and these people existed in Nazi Germany as well .

    

    Anyway, this post isn’t about that ,it’s about something I saw that I think makes some great points . Yesterday I saw this very interesting ,very moving tv play made by BBC in 2008.  It’s called God on Trial and it shows prisoners in Auschwitz, in one of the barracks, who decide to improvise a trial to see if God is guilty of what is happening to them, of breaking the covenant He made with the Jews. It’s more of a philosophical ,psychological play, based on dialog and history and religion. I found it very good and very interesting,very thought provoking . Of course, the whole thing is based around the Jewish faith but as a Christian it can have the same impact because God is the same and we all know of those stories, there is not much difference and it makes very good points, gets really good towards the end.I recommend you watch it, I’ll post the links from YouTube, it’s worth giving it a try. You have all the characters there from the good faithful Jew who follows God blindly to the Atheist, the Christian, the upset faithful, the scholar, the scientist, the rabbi, everyone and they each make interesting points that should be meaningful to anyone who believes in one God , to Atheists as well. Also, it’s a great piece for people interested in people and how they think, in moral issues ,right and wrong, shades of grey
     
  

Part 1 – starts with a little commercial and an introduction by Matthew Goode . Oh and it has Spanish subtitles

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

here is part of a scene that takes place towards the end, the whole piece that this transcript is part of is outstanding and can be very relevant to anyone

Rabbi : Today there was a selection, yes? When David defeated the Moabites, what did he do?
Judge: He made them lie on the ground in lines and he chose one to live and two to die.
Rabbi: We have become the Moabites. We are learning how it was for the Amalekites. They faced extinction at the hand of Adonai. They died for his purpose. They fell as we are falling. They were afraid as we are afraid. And what did they learn? They learned that Adonai, the Lord our God, our God, is not good. He is not good. He was not ever good. He was only on our side.
God is not good. At the beginning when he repented that he had made human beings and flooded the earth. Why? What had they done to deserve annihilation? What could they have done to deserve such wholesale slaughter? What could they have done that was so bad? God is not good.
When he asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Abraham should have said no. We should have taught our God the justice that was in our hearts. We should have stood up to him. He is not good. He has simply been strong. He has simply been on our side.
When we were brought here, we were brought by train. A guard slapped my face. On their belts they had written "Got mit uns" — God is with us. Who is to say that he is not? Perhaps he is. Is there any other explanation? What we see here: his power, his majesty, his might, all these things that turned against us. He is still God, but not our God. He has become our enemy.
 
That is what’s happened to our covenant. He has made a new covenant with someone else.
 

 
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Posted by on 28/01/2011 in random

 

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