Eastern Europe Holiday Series - Part 3: Hello Poznan & Krakow!

Hurray! Selamat datang ke Poland!

So. After we crossed over from our last stop in Berlin, we dropped by a quaint little town in Poznan for our dinner before checking in to our hotel to rest for the night.

Polish vegetarian dumplings (called Pierogi) which were very nice, I like! It was a very simple and homey meal, cuma the portion was not very filling so as per our usual practice in Europe, Saliheen and I searched for a halal food store during our free time and packed some kebab back to our hotel.

Husband checking the windows to see if he can open them up and smoke. Masih ah dekni.

Settled down for a quiet night with our kebab takeaways and kept giggling over the bedsheets, because it reminded us of something and became our inside joke hehe. 

The next day, we passed through Czestochowa to see the Jasna Gora Monastery and Black Madonna before making our way to Krakow but honestly kan, I wasn't really interested in those so no need pictures and descriptions lah hah. We had lunch at noon and then it was time to go to the other historical site that I've been wanting to visit since forever. Which is the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp.

Had to gasp for air when I saw the infamous "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign in real life for the first time. (Sorry akak dramatik, just that it occurred to me masa time tu that I was really, and finally going to jejak the place that I could only imagine through books and Google searches previously.)

Rows of buildings where prisoners used to live in have been converted into series of rooms with information boards and exhibits about the Holocaust and the atrocities that happened in the concentration camps.

Pictures of the prisoners lined up against the wall, complete with their names, occupations, dates they arrived at the camp, and dates they died. If that wasn't horrifying and depressing enough...

Thousands and thousands and thousands of real women's hair, luggage bags and shoes (amongst many other personal belongings) from victims who were tricked into thinking they were going for routine checks but huddled into gas chambers for their deaths instead :,(

Chambers where the torture and killings occurred:


Can you imagine having to defecate ramai ramai here? I can't :,(

Where many, many, many prisoners crammed together to sleep :(

This partial rainbow was the only beauty we saw at Birkenau that day, you guys. Everything else was a grim reminder of the terror, darkness and evil that humans are capable of in times of prejudice and war :(

I struggle to find the words to describe the wave of emotions that overcame me while standing there, staring at the ground where people have lived, worked and struggled, where people were tortured and where people kill and be killed, with the tour guide's pained voice ringing in my ear, explaining one dreadful fact after another.

I started thinking about wars, social prejudices, political systems, and the unrest that currently plague other nations but since my blog is about happy things, I shall not write about such thoughts here and reserve such heavy topics for discussion with my husband. I love our private discussions about history and politics anyway - knowing that we share the same interest in history and can have intense discussions about it was one of the reasons why I married him :)

I also know Holocaust-themed tours or Auschwitz tourism is a sensitive and controversial thing but  I absolutely agree with what Dr Avril Alba, who lectures in Holocaust studies and Jewish civilization at the University of Sydney, had to say in this article:

Alba sees it differently. To her, if just a small percentage of visitors walk away with renewed empathy, it has achieved something important. But the ethical paradox remains. I am outraged by the marketing process that bottles the barbarity, the humiliation and the extermination of my people into a neatly packaged ‘‘Auschwitz experience’’. Having said that, I am convinced that if Auschwitz were to be sealed off from the public, then the Holocaust deniers have won. If people are not given the opportunity to see the human capacity for evil, then the memory of those who perished will become just a number in the book of history.


  1. GAMBAR NI WORKS http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ExiYDB3M9nM/U8djQQDzZmI/AAAAAAAALj8/xCDPv5oXA6U/s1600/kra+(26).jpeg


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