Saturday, 14 July 2012

Oswiecim -Auschwitz-Birkenau

Oswiecm is a beautiful little town standing tall and proud over a beautiful river that slowly mianders past its castle and its 900 year old history. And then in 1940 the nazis came and took away its dignity and rights and Auschwitz  became its name. The town is doing its best to promote itself as the old town  of Oswiecm with a history pre 1940 and post 1945 but the hell of the 2 camps 2 miles away has a strangle hold so tight it will struggle to become a seperate identity.
The day before I was in kracow the old city of Poland and a city that has charm and beauty and also thousands of tourists like me taking pictures for the time when they return home to remind them of their travels of life when there stuck behind their 4 walls. Like all cities it needs to exist on tourism and it promotes its sights to the fullest. This is where it can ugly because there is a fine balance between being tactful advertising and downright crude. Kracow or the majority of its tourist operators sell its history so crudely its an insult to the city, the people and to poland.  'see Auschwitz the salt mines and a tour of the ghetos with fine food and beer all in one day 150 zl'
And then 70km away from  kracow im pitching my tent on a camp site  some 500yds from the 'death camps' ready for my visit the next morning. How stange and ugly to use camp twice in a sentence which has two very different outcomes.

There was a point in the morning where the tourist in me had  mixed feelings of going, but Poland and the world herritage site promote the Site very tactfully and with immense tact to the history that we all know.  I'm not going to talk about the visit itself i will let the pictures do that alot of the buildings were destroyed by the nazis fleeing to cover up their crimes so in some pics you will see ruins. The visit left me numb,cold and broken, i will also add that visitors from all over the world were there all showing total respect for the sites.