Monday, January 16, 2017

Europe: Auschwitz, Poland

Brennan and I woke up at 6am to catch our ride to Auschwitz. They had us watch a documentary with the footage from the liberation of Auschwitz. I normally find documentaries fascinating, but I was getting sick to my stomach watching this one. I started to feel guilty for even going to tour Auschwitz. We had a tour guide show us around and I'm glad we did. She did a wonderful job! I couldn't talk the entire tour, because my heart hurt and I couldn't believe how evil humans can be.

There was a room full of hair that the Nazi's cut off the prisoners and used for making things or stuffing mattresses. When the camp was liberated they found bags of it. Seeing the small dark cells used to punish people, the wall where they would shoot people, and walking into the gas chamber was almost too much to handle. 

The second part of the tour was of Auschwitz-Birkenau Extermination Camp, which made Auschwitz look nice! When you first arrive you can see the entrance for the train that brought people to their death. There were so many wooden and brick barracks! They made the living conditions at Auschwitz look good. We walked past the ruins of the gas chambers that the Nazi's blew up when they new the Russians were coming and we went inside one of the barracks. It was a very humbling experience that I think everyone should have. I cried a few times, which says a lot!

One of my mom's best friends is actually from the town of Oświęcim (Auschwitz). The town people had no idea what was going on so close by during that time. The actual town is a beautiful place to visit. 

When we got back to the hostel we were both emotionally and physically exhausted. After we took a nap we went out for Indian food for brunch and had famous polish dumplings for dinner. We then played Pub quiz with other people at the hostel. The winners got a bottle of champagne that we all ended up passing around. Paula was the worker attempting to host pub quiz and take us out drinking. She was such a good sport, especially with the drunk group of guys being loud and obnoxious. 

When we were walking to the bar Paula noticed one of the guys had an open beer. She yelled at him, because that's illegal, grabbed the beer from his hand, chugged it, and threw it out. She was awesome! At one point she made everyone hug that had a break-up in the past year. I talked to a girl named Mem from Australia and a guy from Nebraska. All the drunk guys were from the UK and were very entertaining. They kept hating on Americans and how we don't know how to speak proper English. We stayed out for a while and then we walked back to the hostel with the two Australians and the guy from Nebraska. I stopped to buy my dad some Bison Grass vodka!

It was a great last night in Poland!

No comments: