Backpack Benji

Krakow and Auschwitz.

From Warsaw I travelled to Southern Poland and checked into a historical hotel in Old Town Krakow near the well-preserved medieval core of the ancient city. This city is a true gem with a beautiful open market piazza (Glowny square).  Once a Renaissance-era trading outpost, the town is home to St. Mary’s Basilica, a Gothic church from the 14th century.  I strolled through the city, which is still surrounded by a portion of its medieval wall, and took in the sights, friendly people, food, and culture.

I next travelled to Auschwitz to spend a somber day at the Auschwitz and Birkenau museums. Established in 1940 by WWII Nazis, Auschwitz was an enormous labor camp and death factory. There were two main camps: the administrative center, and the extermination camp.  During the Holocaust an estimated 1.1 to 1.6 million people were exterminated.

Auschwitz, the main camp for Jewish prisoners during Hitler’s reign was the site of the most notorious mass murder in the history of humanity. The visit provided a mirror into the human soul and served as a tool for self-reflection as I imagined what the Jewish people endured at this horrific symbol of terror, genocide, and the Holocaust.

The visit was terrifying yet moving.  Here are my pictures…

Here is a map of this trip….

To better view this map, click on the “expand” icon in the far lower right corner and the map will open full size in a new window.