Edmund Burke once said, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” This is why a trip to Auschwitz is most important as you travel through your European holiday. This was the largest camps where streamlined killing took place on a daily basis. Almost 1.1 million people lost their life here which makes this death camp a symbol for the evilness of man and the results that can occur when power is placed in the wrong hands.
Take Respect with You to Auschwitz
As you tour the grounds you should remember that you are visiting a grave site so your behaviour should be respectful and dignified at all times. Some men and women did survive the atrocities of Auschwitz and still others are direct descendants of those who were murdered. Be sure to follow these guidelines as you tour the property.
- Do not make any jokes about any group or person.
- Don’t deface the site in any form or fashion.
- Be discreet when you use your camera; there is likely to be someone nearby with a personal connection to the tragedy that took place here.
- Don’t chew gum or litter with any papers or trash over the property.
You should treat this site with dignity, solemnity, and honour that it deserves as you tour the area.
What You Should See
Auschwitz I is the first building and it contains military barracks where you’ll find old photos, materials, and memorabilia that show the cruelties and harshness of this camp. Next you’ll go to the main building where there’s a museum and a theatre that shows a fifteen minute film; this movie is too graphic for children and should not be shown to them. Even though you may be disturbed by watching the movie, it should be seen as you begin your tour of the camp. Auschwitz-Birkenau is the second part of the camp and is about 3km away. You’ll be able to see the old railroad tracks, the buildings where prisoners were first brought into camp, and the ruins of some gas chambers where people lost their lives. There are nearby ponds where thousands of ashes of people were dumped without any regard for ceremony or religious beliefs. Plan to spend a few hours touring Auschwitz so that you can see everything there is to see here.
Take a Tour
One of the most informative ways to view Auschwitz is to take a guided tour that you can arrange at the museum when you first enter. There are tour guides who speak your language and who are able to share information that will make your tour more meaningful. You’ll want to take comfortable walking shoes since you can only tour the facility on foot. It’s also a good idea that if you want a more in-depth tour you return after your guided one so that you can experience the full emotional value of this tragic event in our history.
If you’re visiting other locations in Poland make plans to take a day trip out to see Auschwitz. The Auschwitz Tours from Krakow for example will offer you an historic slant to your trip and will also help you to see how man can rise against man quite quickly in the whole scheme of things.
To fully understand your future you must be knowledgeable about your past and by taking a trip to Auschwitz you can become fully informed about what once happened to over one million men, women, and children.