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Entering the complex

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The famous “work makes you free” sign entering the camp. To the right of the gate is where the orchestra performed giving the false sense that you were entering a dignified prison.

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They cut the girl’s hair off when they arrived. Here are braids. They used the hair to make felt for blankets. I am forever grossed out by felt.

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The Gas Chamber. I walked in, snapped the picture and left. The horror in this room was overwhelming.

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These hooks were everywhere. They tortured Jews by tying their hands behind their backs then hanging them from behind. Dislocating the shoulders and causing sever pain.

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The bathrooms at Birkenau. The Jews were allowed to go 1x a day. If they were caught going outside they were shot, if they had diarrhea they were shot.

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This is where you stood when you got off the train. A man stood there and pointed to the left (life) to the right (death in the showers)

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Photograph of the selection

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Entering Birkenau you came on a train through this opening. It was a 1 mile walk to the end at the crematorium.

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This is where our guide said that “the Jews” put stones on gravestones. Pivotal moment. Beyond is where the ashes were dumped.

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2015 survivors looking at their liberation photo.