|So worried now that I'm not going to be able to put in everything that I want to Krakow and Slovakia cause I only have 20 minutes left!
Krakow was very adorable--incredible town square and left very undamaged by World War II. You can tell it has an amazing nightlife but Nick and I were unable to find it (as I think itś all underground) and also to be honest I don't think either of us could be bothered after the massive meals we chose to gourge ourselves on.
The main focal point and how whole reason for going to Krakow was Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau. A completely sombering experience and I really don't think any amount of time on this journal entry is going to do it justice. We chose to take a 4 hour long guided tour through this concentration camp which I'm so glad we did or else I don't think we would have taken in the extremity (is that even a word because for some reason it feels like itś not) of what happened there. The moment you step into the camp you feel something. I know it sounds so stupid to say but there is honestly something hanging in the air there. So much sadness, like crying is floating through the air. Something hits you in your stomach the moment you walk in and it stays there long after you leave.
The first bit of the camp Auschwitz was not really what you picture. Very "scenic" looking as it actually used to be a Polish military base so the buildings were nice looking etc. But as though that would have stop the Nazis. The first Auschwitz was used as a prop camp. Although it was actually used in evil ways since it looked nice it was the camp the Nazis let the publice know about. "See itś not that bad what weŕe doing, they have nice barracks to live in, clean surroundings. They love it here" You walk through all these old barracks that are now part of the museum and I think everyone cried. The first barrack we saw was all their belongings. Mountains and mountains of things the Nazis robbed their prisoners of. Shoes, eyeglasses, toothbrushes, fake legs (that most of the victims got from fighting for the Germans in World War I) Piles of suitcases with names and birthdays on them because they were told to put their info on them so the Nazis knew who to return the belongings too when they were done. Another barrack was all hair...The nazis shaved their heads to use it to stuff mattresses, etc. Even made sure to get all their hair off them when they killed them.
Auschwitz-Birkenau is where all the mass killings happened. You should see this camp. Although most of it is destroyed, eerily there are still chimnies (100ś of them in rows)from the tiny barracks the Nazis kept all the victims in. Barracks meant to old 56 horses held 400 people at one point. Only 3 buildings in a row with toilets...Many people never even made it to them.
Birkenau is also the camp that you would have seen in the movies. The railroad coming through a massive concentration camp buildings stopping in the middle for the "inspection."
I really don't have that much time left to write all I want to write. I just want to say this. Only one word sums it up--all I could say to use is that it is so SAD. Nothing else can describe it. But it is an experience I'm so glad I had and I feel everyone should have. It honestly makes you realize how you would do anything for it never to happen again.