(The nine photos below were all taken at Auschwitz I and Auschwitz-Birkenau by Maria Jesus Verdugo during the recent trip Ellen and I made to Poland. We traveled with Andrew Rasiej and Maria, who is on her way to becoming an accomplished photographer. Click on the picture to see it in its larger version.)
#1 – Infinite lines of barbed wire surround everything
#2 – Visitors look at a small window where hundreds of shoes are piled, just a preview of a room with 1000s of victims shoes
#3 – Student visitor walks down an alley with bricked windows (so prisoners won’t see the killings at “The Wall of Death”)
#4. – Even now, walking along the electrified fences, it’s a claustrophobic and frightening experience
#5 – Remains of a crematorium blown up to hide the evidence of the Nazi horrors (not completely destroyed as the Soviets arrived before all the evidence could be destroyed)
#6 – The view from inside one of the buildings that housed prisoners in Auschwitz I
#7 – “The Wall of Death” where ‘uncooperative’ prisoners were shot
#8 – The railroad tracks end here, the final destination for those brought to Auschwitz-Birkenau
#9 – Flowers appear all around the train station of Auschwitz-Birkenau, whether growing by themselves or left by some of the more than one million people who visit this place every year.
(To read my post, It Wasn’t ‘The Final Solution,’ describing our trip to Auschwitz, Click Here.)
Elizabeth Goodman said:
I’m an avid “reader” of Millerstime, but up until today have not commented. These photographs caused me to gasp so eloquent and beautiful are they, and so I had to reply.
Ron Goodman said:
I agree with Elizabeth. These are most affecting. I’m a guide at the Holocaust Memorial in Boston, but I have as yet not had the courage to go to Auschwitz. Perhaps I’m afraid that the experience would dilute the essence of the feelings about the Holocaust that are a part of my “core.” My son and daughter in law did go when they were traveling in the region, so I have been witness, albeit vicariously.
Again, beyond the subject matter, these are extraordinary photographs.