Was blog absent for over a considerable days, our internet connection at home is disconnected still - the reason I was inconspicuous online. Amid of that, I was in a long weekend holiday in Krakow southern part of Poland for four days. My long weekend vacation was ungratifying as I’d say it, four days weren’t enough which Krakow has so much sight seers to offer and one of that is the WW II historical place Auschwitz. It is only one hour & a half by bus from the center of the city of Krakow which the fare was as low as 20 zlote back & forth. There’s a lot of tour guide agencies in the city that offers good services, charging 125 zlote for adults and 105 for students going to the most visited tourist place in Poland.
Upon knowing that it’s possible to travel to Auschwitz without a tour guide, I immediately went-off to the bus station early 7 in the morning to be an early bird. It took me an hour curiously observing around since I didn’t know whom to approach & everything was in Polish like the signs and schedule. My desire to investigate & learn had led me directly to look for a bus departing for Auschwitz. Rigthly then, I found my way boarded on a bus with fellow foreign visitors. As we closely arrived, I could see far-off the principal face of the Concentration Camp I - was already rounded with buses, cars and tourists. In spite of the bad weather ( it was raining & partly freezing) it didn’t prevent us to see the so called death camp. To get a bird’s eye view of the camp & a way of looking its brief history, everyone has to go through a film screening about holocaust though it wasn’t a must. If you are a lone traveller & wish to go around refusing to join an English group tour without staying much longer is the easiest way. Or you could go around by yourself renting a walkman type of radio with recorded voices on it in different languages to feel the holocaust history deeply while wandering around. The tour of Auschwitz Camp I begins by passing beneath a replica of the infamous ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ ( Work Makes You Free) entrance gate, which is an oxymoronic because nobody was freed instead ended up in a gas chamber.
The most stirring part of an emotions was meeting up close to a holocaust survivor while I was blending with the American-Jewish High School students by chance inside the barracks. Everyone became so tacit when an old lady stood up in the midst of the crowd introducing herself while we were staring on a huge picture of the Jewish kids framed with burb wire around. The entire room was completely mounted with emotions, tears was visibly seen on every cheeks of the spectators (including myself) while listening to her tearjerking story how she survived the pangs of death and cruelty inside the camp. Without getting the chance to pass – I asked her several questions & of course taking pictures with her.
Another gooseflesh scene was inside the gas chamber, I could feel the pain & agony of those innocent lives exterminated inside the incinerator. That’s when the group of American-Jewish students and their guardians started to emit a long uncontrollable doleful sounds of cry while inside the gas chamber offering a prayer and a chant in remembering their ancestors. I honestly felt restless being inside the incinerator looking every nook and cranny of the small dark room imagining how those 350 Jews cramming inside with fear helplessly without the chance to escape. The walls, ceilings and the fume still marked the dark soot of incinerated souls of both kids & adults when they were forcibly thrusted to get in the gas chamber.
I didn’t expect in my life that I could get a quick vis-a-vis of a holocaust survivor on that day, of course getting the opportunity to visit Auschwitz was a rare chance. My attention grew even more greatly to learn about holocaust. This summer vacation here in Europe, paying a second visit to Auschwitz is a primary option in mind aside from trekking to another concentration camps close to Warsaw like Treblinka & Sobibor.