|The "Jourhaus" --SS offices and gatehouse entering the concentration camp|
|Entering the main gate. The inscription reads "Work makes you free."|
I was wrong.
What I learned there was in some ways worse. While people were not marched unwillingly into gas chambers, over 30,000 people died there. Some, from the intolerable conditions, others from being hung, or shot, and yes, some died in the gas chamber there. Some were worked to death, digging ditches, refilling them, and digging them again. Some died from torturous medical experiments conducted upon them, such as high altitude simulations and low temperature experiments. Most died from disease outbreaks and malnutrition
While a great number of Jews were sent there, I was surprised that many more were political prisoners, including Christian clergy. Thousands of Catholic priests and bishops were imprisoned there.
|Inside the Bunker|
|Firing Squad wall|
|The grounds where thousands would gather each day for roll call|
The most disturbing part of the visit was seeing the crematorium. There are actually two -- the "new crematorium" was built because the old one could not handle the thousands and thousands of bodies that needed disposal. The crematorium was also used as a place to hang prisoners from the rafters. There was also a galleys just outside the crematorium. In a room adjacent to the picture below was the gas chamber. I felt absolutely sick to the stomach walking through this room to the gas chamber. Even more sickening were the pictures there of bodies piled up, waiting to be burned, or those of prisoners pushing bodies into the very ovens we were standing beside.
|The "new" crematorium|