Whilst in Krakow we took a look at some other SS
related places, but you have to take a visit to Auschwitz. It's a very
moving place and excellent tribute to all the Jews that suffered there. We
went there by car and entry is free both to Auschwitz and the bus to nearby
Oskar Schindler was a German businessman and
Nazi but to is credited with saving about 1200 Jews from Auschwitz by
employing them at his acquired factory. The pix to the right are of his
apartment and factory which is now a museum and well worth a visit. It
is on the other side of the river within walking distance of town. If
you haven't watched Schindlers List, you must.
Not many tourists are aware there was another
concentration camp in Krakow, a little bit furthur south (a few more tram
stops) Nothing remains of Plascow camp but the Grey House which was the SS
HQ and the Red House which the evil Amon Goth's house, the Commandant.
The Grey House is unoccupied but has plans to be a
museum and the Red House is occupied
We had reserved a time slot for Auschwitz and drove
from Krakow some 40 miles (pleasant drive) to Auschwitz 1 museum car park.
This is where the infamous entrance is to Auschwitz 1. It was here that
murders, shootings, medical experiments and gassings took place. In all,
around 2 million Jews died here, and it was here that Josef Mengele
performed his wicked experiments and Rudolf Hoess was commandant.
The photos above show the shooting
wall, torture chamber and exterior and interior of one of the
earlier gas chambers and the gallows.
From here we
caught the shuttle bus to Auschwitz-Birkenau which was created in
September 1941by Himmlers orders, when Auschwitz 1 was getting
overrun and here, the prisoners could be taken here directly by
The photos above
show the infamous barrier entrance, one of the walkways between huts,
rows of prisoner clothes and one of the toilets
From left to right, the
familiar image of arriving at the camp, a remaining look-out
tower, the remains of the gas chamber which was blown
up just prior to liberation and a truck which carried the
poor, unfortunate souls. All in all this is a very touching
and humbling experience which you must do if visiting
Krakow. Vicky was apprehensive but would not have missed it.
I think we did the best thing by going under our own steam,
but you can visit (payable but not overpriced) with guides.
...but firstly a little about other places of interest
In 1941 the Germans created a Ghetto where
all Jews left in Krakow were to reside. There is nothing left but a part of
the wall again on the south side of the river.