On her recent trip to Poland, Ara visited the concentration camp of Auschwitz. I've been there 4 years ago. It the saddest place I've ever been to :( As Ara said on the card, this place puts our emotions to the limit.
The 2nd card was sent by Waldeck in 2008.
The Auschwitz concentration camp complex was the largest of its kind established by the Nazi regime. It included three main camps. All three camps used prisoners for forced labor. Auschwitz I, the main camp, was the first camp established near Oswiecim. Construction began in April 1940 in an abandoned Polish army barracks in a suburb of the city.
Copyright by Panstwowe Muzeum Auschwitz-Birkenau * Fot: Pawel Sawicki
The first prisoners at Auschwitz included German prisoners transferred from Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Germany, where they had been incarcerated as repeat criminal offenders, and Polish political prisoners from Lodz via Dachau concentration camp and from Tarnow in Krakow District of the Generalgouvernement (that part of German- occupied Poland not annexed to Nazi Germany, linked administratively to German East Prussia, or incorporated into the German-occupied Soviet Union).
Similar to most German concentration camps, Auschwitz I was constructed to serve three purposes:
1) to incarcerate real and perceived enemies of the Nazi regime and the German occupation authorities in Poland for an indefinite period of time
2) to provide a supply of forced laborers for deployment in SS-owned, construction-related enterprises (and, later, armaments and other war-related production)
3) to serve as a site to physically eliminate small, targeted groups of the population whose death was determined by the SS and police authorities to be essential to the security of Nazi Germany.
Like some concentration camps, Auschwitz I had a gas chamber and crematorium. Initially, SS engineers constructed an improvised gas chamber in the basement of the prison block, Block 11. Later a larger, permanent gas chamber was constructed as part of the original crematorium in a separate building outside the prisoner compound.
At Auschwitz I, SS physicians carried out medical experiments in the hospital, Barrack (Block) 10. They conducted pseudoscientific research on infants, twins, and dwarfs, and performed forced sterilizations and castrations of adults. The best-known of these physicians was SS Captain Dr. Josef Mengele. - in: https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005189