Everyone knows the awful nightmares of Auschwitz, but it is not until you visit to see and feel the horrors of the place, does it really sink-in quite how unthinkable it must have been.
I seriously considered writing no text at all – letting the photographs speak for themselves. But decided some annotation helps us get an inkling of what the inmates must have endured.
I felt the early, misty, blurry photographs taken on the bus journey through the forest on the outskirts was a chilling reminder of what the train passengers would have seen through the cracks of the cattle trucks, as they arrived on their final journeys.
At the station women and children were separated from the men, then stripped and shaved and ushered straight to the gas chambers. Told they were having a shower, they were then gassed en masse.
The men were separated into queues on the left or right – note the connection with Tinder. Those too sick, old or weak would go left – straight to the gas chambers. In the right hand queue would be those that looked like they could be used for slave labour, for work such as shaving and saving the hair and teeth of the victims, raiding their possessions, taking and storing thousands of pairs of glasses and shoes. The ultimate job of feeding the bodies into the furnaces went to the most trusted inmates – who knew one false move and they would be next…
This visit will stay with me forever…
As a more positive post script to this visit, I see that one of my images on the Alamy.com photo library has been used for the front cover of a new book by Steve Ross called From Broken Glass. Available from Amazon.