Auschwitz Trip: Photos from Auschwitz and Birkenau

On Monday and Tuesday, the group got its first look at the companion concentration camps, Auschwitz and Birkenau.

  • Disembarking at Birkenau

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    The tour group gets off the bus before a day at Birkenau concentration camp.

  • Birkenau Gate

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    The gate through which trains brought prisoners to Birkenau.

  • Eva Kor at Birkenau

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    CANDLES museum founder and Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor leads a group down a road adjacent to the selection platform at Birkenau, where prisoners were sent either to work or to their deaths.

  • Eva Kor's Tattoo

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    CANDLES museum founder Eva Kor shows off the tattoo she was given at Auschwitz. It's illegible, she says, because she kicked, screamed and bit the German officer whose job it was to brand her.

  • A Rose Among Thorns

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    A rose and candles placed on a wooden bunk inside a barracks at Birkenau. Each bunk would sleep four or more prisoners each night.

  • Entering Auschwitz

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    The group walking under a replica of the Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Makes You Free or Work Frees) sign marking the entrance to Auschwitz. The actual sign, which was stolen late last year and cut into three pieces, has yet to be repaired and replaced.

  • Monument to the Victims

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    A glass urn with actual human ashes serves as a reminder of the horrors of Auschwitz and a monument to those who lost their lives there.

  • Eyeglasses of the Victims

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    The Auschwitz museum has collected personal effects of many deceased prisoners which were left behind when the Nazis fled the camp. An entire display is devoted to the thousands of pairs of eyeglasses worn by the victims.

  • Liberation Recreation

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    Eva Kor leads the tour group on a march meant to recreate her own march to freedom between rows of barbed wire 65 years ago. As they walked, the group sang "We Shall Overcome".

  • Crematorium Furnace

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    Flowers and a Star of David adorn one of the furnaces inside an Auschwitz crematorium.

  • Repairing Auschwitz

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    A workman repairs a light outside a barracks at Auschwitz. The lights were manufactured by the same company which produced the landmark "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign above the main gate.

  • Zyklon B

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    These tablets, when originally exposed to air, produced the deadly Zyklon B gas which was responsible for the deaths of thousands in Nazi gas chambers.

  • Victims' Shoes

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    An estimated 90,000 shoes (45,000 pairs) originally belonging to victims were found when the camp as liberated. The number represents only a small fraction of those killed at Auschwitz.

  • Lost Luggage

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    Many of those brought to Auschwitz were led to believe they were taking a vacation of sorts, leading many to bring fine luggage with them.

  • Photo of Young Eva Kor

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    CANDLES museum founder Eva Kor points to a picture (one of two on the same wall) showing her as a young girl on the day of liberation by Russian troops in January, 1945.

  • Eva Kor on Liberation Day

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    Eva Kor jokes "I was so chubby" on liberation day -- January 27, 1945.

  • Birkenau Tower in Fog

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    The group looks out across the frozen Birkenau landscape at a tower on the edge of the prison camp.

  • Eva Kor and Duke Bennett

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett asks Eva Kor about her experiences as a prisoner as the two tour Birkenau 65 years after Kor and many others were granted their freedom.

  • Monument to the Victims

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    Photo: Stan Jastrzebski

    The stone monument, constructed near the bombed-out remains of Birkenau's crematoriums, which commemorates victims of the Holocaust.

UPDATE (6:45 pm EST, Wednesday, January 27):

Today was the day of the actual ceremony, but unfortunately the organizers of the remembrance did not plan well with respect to photographer access.  I have asked one of the student filmmakers for a photo (shot with a zoom lens) of CANDLES museum founder Eva Kor standing with Polish President Lech Kaczynski and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the candle-lighting ceremony.  Hope to post that soon.  For now, more photos of Auschwitz and Birkenau have been posted.

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On Monday and Tuesday,  the group got its first look at the companion concentration camps, Auschwitz and Birkenau.  This page will be updated with more photos in the coming days, so stay tuned!


Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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