Thursday, June 13, 2013

Q. "How many liters are in a gallon?"

A. Who cares? Gas is expensive here and everyone loves riding buses.

So last night I fell asleep and forgot to blog. My most sincere apologies. The original question of the day was going to be, "What adjective describes today?" and the answer was going to be, "Well, there isn't one." But I saw this yesterday.

We took a bus to Auschwitz. It had been raining throughout our stay and the rain held off while we were there. We arrived at Auschwitz, joined our English tour group and set off for an *insert adjective here* day.

Since this is such a touchy topic and emotions are a little different if say, you have family who were killed here or you saw it in real life, I'm going to let this blog post consist of mainly pictures and a few comments so you can try to imagine Auschwitz-Birkenau the way it is today, how it was before, and if you were to see it with your own eyes.

I did not take any pictures of the gas chambers or any pictures of the amount of hair from the men, women, and children that is still displayed today.

If anyone is curious, as most of you are, and would like to look up your family name in the Archives of Auschwitz-Birkenau and see if you had family there, you can click here for the link.

Now, I do have more pictures that you're able to find on Facebook. If you're not on Facebook, you can email me ( if you want to see more.

But before we get to the touchier subjects. Here is a picture of Papa:

Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration and Death Camps

I believe the correct translation is, "Labor makes you free"


 Guard tower.

Everyday there was roll call where the prisoners had to stand until everyone was verified and checked. The longest recorded roll call was 19 hours long. It was this long because a prisoner had escaped and it was punishment. Only 144 prisoners escaped successfully. This is where they stood.

 Hydrogen cyanide in the form of Zyklon B, used in the gas chambers.




 Death wall.

 Birkenau. Birkenau was strictly a death camp. People would usually get off of the train and go straight to execution. The tower in the far background is original, of course, and is seen in many famous pictures taken during the Holocaust.

 "For ever let the place be a cry of despair and a warning to humanity where the Nazis murdered about one and a half million men, women, and children, mainly Jews from various countries of Europe. Auschwitz-Birkenau. 1940 - 1945"

 The Nazis attempted to blow up gas chambers to "hide" their criminal activity.

 Latrines. Huge groups of people were let into these areas to relieve themselves with only 10 seconds to maybe a minute before they had to rush out so they wouldn't be shot or punished.

 This was able to heat an entire bunker and in the picture below, you can see how it would do so. Unfortunately, they didn't have any fuel.

An estimated 11 million people were killed in the Holocaust.

6 million of those were Jews.

1.1 million were children.

For more of a perspective of what you've seen in the pictures, here are a few (non-gruesome) pictures from the Holocaust:

 Men were separated from women and children once they had gotten off the trains.


  1. Amazing and I have to say I got emotional looking at these photographs. So horrific. Great job with the pictures, Jess and great photo of Papa. :) - Mom

  2. Jess,
    When I look at these pictures from the concentration camps I get tears in my eyes. It is heart breaking. when I go there next year I'll have to take a box of tissues. I bet there were alot to people with tears coming down their face. thanks for the pictures.
    Love Grandma Ruperti

    1. Hi Grandma,
      It was a very moving experience and like I said, I wasn't really sure how to describe the day better than that. I'd definitely have tissues handy if I were you!

      I'm glad you like the pictures.

      Love you!