Poland – Auschwitz-Birkenau

I never thought when i watched the movie Schindler’s list in the school that i would be actually visiting the very place on which the movie was based on. Upto 10 million europeans were killed in the holocaust. But the way Jews and Gypsies were picked on during the war makes  this a very unique tragedy. We Indians are pretty immune to tragedies. Millions of our people have died due to Partition,colonialism,internal conflicts,terrorism acts etc. But visiting Auschwitz one cannot but be horrified again at the extent to which man can go to fulfill his hatred for others. 

Poland – Auschwitz-Birkenau – Wiki

After all these,I still wonder how can we have the stomach to bear yet more conflicts and deaths.



The entrance to Auschwitz. But its more than that, I could go in and come back. Many never came back.

Electrified Fences. Many prisoners would throw themselves againt these fences to end their agonizing lives.

The Gas Chambers. I neednt say anymore.

Entrance to the Birkenau Concentration Camp also known as Auschwitz 2 .This is actually about 5-10 miles away from Auschwitz and a much bigger one. If you remember Schindler’s List, This is where the train loaded with prisoners enter the concentration camp. This camp is vast and was run like  a city.Ofcourse the prisoners were the public.

There was a third Concentration camp called Auschwitz 3 aka Monowitz. It was destroyed during the war

 How to get there

There are flights to Warsaw from many international airports. From india, there are no direct flights so probably have to use one of the arlines which have a connecting flight to Warsaw like finnair or aeroflot.There is an airport at krakow as well but mostly served by budget airlines. We took the BA from london to warsaw then a train to Krakow(unforgettable experience!). There are numerous tour companies in Krakow which will conduct a day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Your hotel reception in Krakow can arrange it for you.

Food

Poland is a nation of meat eaters. Non vegetarians can have a field day however pls dont moan about spices. As for vegetarians. it might be bit difficult. I did spot few indian restaurants in Warsaw and Krakow where probably you might get some desi veggie sabjis. Also Poland consumes quite a lot of cabbages of many different types.  Other option is to check some chic expensive restaurants which do have veggie food mostly catering to the 0 size model type people. So when in Poland eat the way Polish do. Start with a red cabbage soup, have a pierogi(kindof stuffed dumplings) as the main meal or just ask for a platter of meat and gulp it all down with a 2 litre local brew. you wont forget it:)

PS. Do look around  Krakow. its a beautiful city. The only one which was not destroyed by Germans duriung WW2.

7 Comments

  • Auschwitz, Riots, tales of partition,

    They always tell that there is an animal in all of us, and some people know that art of bringing it to front. When we lose all our rational thinking.

    Though I have not seen Schindlers list , but I don’t even have a courage to see it.

    Welcome Aboard Sachi and hope to read many more travelogues from you.

  • Onil Gandhi says:

    spine chilling…..

  • ssk agra says:

    Watching this videos i had more liked

  • RP says:

    Wow….I have always wanted to visit this place……i ah a great fan of jewish history, their constant fight…..hats off to them…….were you able to get in or you could only be on the outside?

  • Ram Dhall says:

    Thanks for sharing the write up on the horrific days of Auschwitz during the Nazi regime.

    I have seen the film “Schindlers list” and have read the book too. A few years back I read “The Reader” by Bernhard Schlink and also saw Kate Winslet performing the lead role of Frau Schmitz, for which she was most deserving and awarded the Oscar. Try to read the book. The end is simply devastating.

    Welcome aboard and do keep on sharing your experiences.

  • sachi_richmond says:

    Thank you for all your comments. I did go inside, scenes are more depressing hence i didnt talk too much about it. The early autumn gloominess added to the sad mood.
    I am going to Poland again next month. Hopefully will try to add another post on Warsaw/Gdansk

  • Nandan says:

    Welcome aboard Sachi.

    that track shot is exactly what Steven S shot. I am left yearning for more, hope to read more after your next visit.

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