Birkenau, Poland

Stop #5

Birkenau (Auschwitz II) is where most of the mass killings actually took place. The camp had more than 300 prison barracks. Still remaining are remnants of gas chambers and crematoria.

  • At Birkenau from 1942 until late 1944, transport trains delivered Jews to the camp’s gas chambers from all over German-occupied Europe.
  • Jews were killed in large numbers using a pesticide called Zyklon B.
  • About 1.3 million people were sent to the camp, and at least 1.1 million of them were executed.
  • 90 percent of those killed were Jewish.

One of the last buildings I saw in Birkenau was the one that left the most lasting impression. It is a building where medical experiments were performed on pregnant mothers or new mothers and their newborn children. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the pit in my stomach I felt when I read that sign.

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