Even though the purpose of Auschwitz was to murder the innocent people brought here, not all of them were killed immediately. After an initial evaluation, some prisoners were registered and forced to work. This didn't mean they were chosen to live, just to die after they had worked, and probably from starvation.
It is clear from the evidence that Auschwitz was never intended to be a "work camp," where people were kept alive and fed well so they would be healthy enough to do work. People were meant to die here, if not in the gas chamber, or executed, then through malnutrition and overwork.
In a word, "Starvation."
There is a room that displays drawings of the arrival process which were sketched by survivors of the concentration camp. After the initial selection, those chosen to work were showered, shaved, and photographed. After a while, the Nazis decided it was just too expensive to photograph all the prisoners, so they were tattooed on the chest or arm.
For the children, they were tattooed on the leg.
It's just automatic to look at the walls with all the black and white photographs as you walk down the the long, long hallways.
But, to look into the eyes of each PERSON and to read the name of that person and to read the occupation of that person is haunting.
Of those liberated, 20 percent died soon after of disease and starvation. The daily ration was usually a pan of tea or coffee in the morning, a thin vegetable soup in the afternoon, and a piece of bread for dinner. The bread was often made with sawdust or chestnuts.
It is called, "Mother and Child."
I will warn you right now, the following photos are unbelievable and difficult to look at.
As with the 'suggestion' at Auschwitz, no children under 14 should visit . . .
Why did I take them?
Why did I post them ?
It was important to me to document this view from my own perspective in order to record the enormity of this place. Not necessarily to understand it. There is no way that looking at a picture of the Grand Canyon can one truly understand the enormity of standing on the rim. And, so it is with this place, the emotion of standing on the same grounds cannot be felt by looking at these photos.
I am in no way comparing a tourist site like the Grand Canyon to Auschwitz. I'm just trying to explain that experiencing this place through literature, history classes, documentaries, etc. can in no way describe the experience of being here.
Room 6 is about Auschwitz's child inmates which comprised twenty percent of the camp's victims.
Blonde, blue-eyed children were either "Germanized" in special schools or, if younger, adopted by German families.
It is apparent, that none of the children pictured below were blonde and blue-eyed.
I stood on the steps of Block 6 and snapped this photo. I do remember seeing a child's stroller
parked on the edge of the road (lower right corner) , but not until now did it 'hit' me . . .