Photographer's Note

Extermination Camp Auschwitz was the largest of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camps. Located in southern Poland, it took its name from the nearby town of Oświęcim (Auschwitz in German), situated about 50 kilometers west of Kraków. Following the German occupation of Poland in September 1939, Oświęcim was incorporated into Germany and renamed Auschwitz.

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The complex consisted of three main camps: Auschwitz I, the administrative center; Auschwitz II (Birkenau), an extermination camp or Vernichtungslager; and Auschwitz III (Monowitz), a work camp. The first two of them have been on the World Heritage List since 1979. There were also around 40 satellite camps, some of them tens of kilometers from the main camps, with prisoner populations ranging from several dozen to several thousand.

The camp commandant, Rudolf Höss, testifed at the Nuremberg Trials that 3 million people had died at Auschwitz during his stay as a commandant. Later he decreased his estimate to about 1.1 million. The death toll given by the Soviets and accepted by many was 4,000,000 people. This number was written on the plaques in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. The Museum revised this figure in 1990, and new calculations by Dr. Franciszek Piper now place the figure at 1.1 million about 90 percent of them Jews from almost every country in Europe. Most of the dead were killed in gas chambers using Zyklon B; other deaths were caused by systematic starvation, forced labor, lack of disease control, individual executions, and so-called medical experiments. []

So far the Wikipedia. Many descendants of people killed in the extermination camps still come to remember death of their ancestors, bringing flowers, singing songs, waving flags or just standing in silence at places where all the prisoners must have gone through. The title above the main gate says "Arbeit macht frei", which means "Labor makes free". Several hundreds meters from this point were the gas chambres and incinerators. Pictures of those still to come.

Was this just the history, what can never repeat again ? At many places there is a quotation of George Santayana saying: "Those who do not remember history are sentenced to repeat it." There are many wars in the World today the terror not excluded, none of them however shows the least signs, that the mankind has learned something.

In the sense of this words, the picture is not just the history.

Stay tuned, more pictures to follow.

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Additional Photos by Michael Trezzi (MichaelTrezzi) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 334 W: 10 N: 533] (3368)
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