This week I took my second trip from London Southend Airport. It is a revelation to be able to journey from somewhere close to home. This time I ventured to Kraków in Poland, a most impressive city and one I hope to re-visit.

Whilst in Kraków I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, something that I had mixed feelings about. For years I had been wanting to go, but as my trip approached I started to feel increasingly apprehensive. I am glad I went, and I do believe it vitally important that such places are preserved.

I have read survivor’s accounts, and a number of World War Two histories, and am aware of the full horror of the Nazi regime. Seeing the place where over a million were murdered is incredible, moving, and for me and anger-inducing experience. I could not but feel angry at those who perpetrated those terrible crimes, and at those who allowed it to happen.

The Nazi crimes stand out in their monstrous magnitude, but theirs is not the only instance of man’s barbarity to man. Those who strive for peace, compassion, and toleration have to be ever vigilant. Not long ago I worked with a gentleman from Rwanda whose family suffered in that country’s recent genocidal episode. Just one recent instance in a long brutal line of atrocities.

Go to Auschwitz-Birkenau, witness for yourself the sites where barely imaginable brutality was carried out on an industrial scale.

One myth that I was able to debunk for myself on that trip, the one about no birds singing over the site of the death camps. It was a warm summer’s day, and of course nature carried on – including the birds with their songs.


2 Responses to Auschwitz-Birkenau

  1. Alan Grubb says:

    Hi Julien

    Irene and i visited the above about eight years ago while we were in Poland, at the time of our visit we didnot see or hear any wildlife, both camps the evil and the silence was so great we felt we could not take any pictures.


  2. The only photos I took were of the gate.

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