realitycheck(dot)ie

Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Krakow and Auschwitz

Krakow was fantastic despite snow and a post-exam weariness - it's such a beautiful city and really compact - the hotel I stayed in was about 10 minutes walk from the old town (which involved a very dangerous jaywalk!) and everything there is literally on top of each other. So many beautiful buildings, churches, castles and museums. Food so cheap - recommend Hotel Copernicus's restaurant (especially the chocolate souffle with mint ice cream!) and Cyrano de Bergerac (the venison was divine.
Went to Auschwitz and Birkenau - still not quite over that. I started crying in the barracks where the human hair is stored as there was a plait of hair sitting forlornly in the middle and I couldn't stop thinking off the girl who started her day by plaiting her hair and ended her life in a gas chamber. It was rather embarrassing as this nice American woman thought I was Jewish and started hugging me.
Birkenau was creepy - while we there it was snowing really heavy so the whole area looked like a winter wonderland - I couldn't believe who massive it was and also how methodical and scientific the Nazis were in their systematic dehumanisation and murder. A few hundred Israeli soldiers were there while we were and they marched up to the platform where Mengeles decided the fate of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and said some prayers there. They appeared to have some survivors with them.
The number of snowflakes that fell while we walked around was much much less than the numbers of lives that were cut short by an evil ideology a generation ago.
I know I have more to say on this and will say it soon!

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