Church of St Mary

Kraków, Poland

Our train arrived in Kraków around 7 AM. We got ready and our driver picked us up at 10:30 AM to take us on our tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp which is located in the medieval city of Oswiecim, about 66 kilometers west of Krakow (approx. 2 hours away).
The grounds and buildings of the Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau camps are open to visitors. The guided tour took 3 hours to see both camps. It is not recommended for people under 14 years of age.
Like other Nazi concentration camps, the gates to Auschwitz I displayed the motto “Arbeit macht frei” (Work brings freedom).
Zyklon B was the trade name of a cyanide-based pesticide invented in Germany in the early 1920s. The product is infamous for its use by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust to murder approximately one million people in gas chambers installed at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Majdanek, and other extermination camps.
Block 11 was the name of a brick building in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The Block was intended solely to punish prisoners through torture. It was at Block 11 that the first attempts to kill people with Zyklon B were implemented. I have to admit, walking through this building and looking at the prison cells made me nauseous and gave me a stress headache as well. I felt better once we exited.
Gallows in Auschwitz I where Rudolf Höss was executed on April 16, 1947. Höss introduced pesticide Zyklon B containing hydrogen cyanide to the killing process. To the right of the trees, stands the house where he lived with his wife and kids.
In the course of the war, the camp was staffed by 7,000 members of the German Schutzstaffel (SS), approximately 12 percent of whom were later convicted of war crimes.
Approaching the gatehouse which is the main entrance to Auschwitz II (Birkenau) on the shuttle.
The railroad siding inside the camp called the ramp. The ramp is where Jewish people went through the selection process. The railroad tracks extend about a mile into the camp, all the way to the gas chambers II and III.
Never Again.
After our tour, we came back to Kraków and had dinner in the Main Square. This is the view of The Wawel Castle, a castle residency located in central Kraków, built at the behest of King Casimir III the Great. The castle, being one of the largest in Poland, represents nearly all European architectural styles of medieval, renaissance and baroque periods.
Kraków Old Town is the historic central district of Kraków.
On the right is Krakow’s most important church, the brick Gothic 14th century Church of St Mary, alongside the Main Market Square. This is the church that was seen in Schindler’s List.
Today the Old Town attracts visitors from all over the world. The Old Town district of Kraków is home to about six thousand historic sites and more than two million works of art. Its rich variety of historic architecture includes Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic buildings.
Moreover, the Square in the city center is a place where many famous people and many important events were and are commemorated.