This day had a pretty heavy impact on me to be honest. Mum took me to Majdanek concentration camp in Lublin. I had never been to one before and felt I would be mentally prepared to see it as I had learnt about it at school and had a decent understanding of what it was, why it was there and why they did it, but going there made me realise that I did not understand a single aspect of this war what so ever.
I guess when you learn about it in school it's different. Its not exactly sugar coated or anything like that, and the facts are the same, but at the time they are only ever really numbers on a page. You never are able to grasp a true feeling that this actually happened, that this is real.
The stone memorial at the gates of Majdanek where the prisoners would be taken through and most of them would never come out.
This is a plant which I have forgotten the name for but it is basically stinging nettle but burns your skin like acid. Majdanek had a disturbingly fresh patch happily growing.
The effect all the chemicals had on the walls and ceilings.
The cans of Zyklon B gas..
I will never be able to comprehend anything to do with nazi's. It just doesn't make sense to me. I don't want to talk about it too much for fear of offending anyone. I just don't understand.
It scares me thinking that this fabric could be anywhere in Europe. People might not even realise they have it. The possibilites are just endless and it is such a morbid thought.
In one of the bunkers this memorial was made. Whilst sitting in the dark looking at the light sculpture you could hear people voices over the speaker, muffled but there. It was extremely eery. I didn't like being in here very much. The voices upset me.
Majdanek is probably the most intense concentration camp because everything is still there. It is known as the most well preserved concentration camp because the nazi's didn't have enough time to destroy everything before they were overrun.
"Although conceived as a forced labor camp and not as an extermination camp, over 79,000 people died there (59,000 of them Polish Jews) during the 34 months of its operation.
Among German Nazi concentration camps, Majdanek was unusual in that it was located near a major city, not hidden away at a remote rural location. It is also notable as the best-preserved concentration camp of the Holocaust - there had been too little time for the Nazis to destroy the evidence before the Red Army arrived.
With respect to Majdanek, the most notorious of this wave of executions occurred on November 3, 1943 when 18,400 Jews were killed on a single day. On November 4, 25 Jews who had succeeded in hiding during the killings of the day before were found and executed."
For the rest of the day my boots were pretty heavy but mum and I decided to make the most out of it and see a bit of Lublin before we had to leave. Mum showed her old University and little places she used to go to, most of them sadly not being around anymore.
A sample of shops you will find in a Polish shopping centre. Empik is a book store that I love. And have fond memories of my trip to Poland when I was 9 and I would sit in Empik and read for hours while mum would see her friends.
Just some artwork on the buildings that interested me.
Old men playing chess in the middle of the day, such a beautiful sight.
They were getting filmed ooooooooh la la
This was the book I read in Poland. It is such a beautiful story. But please if you are thinking about reading it do not watch the movie. In fact just don't watch the movie ever. It is nothing like the book and it is just an incredibly upsetting let down for everyone involved.
Mum and I decided to get some healthy salads after all the crazy food we had been eating recently. Mum ordered a greek salad. It came with mustard as the dressing....I know right! It doesn't even make sense! My salad wasn't bad just something put together with chicken and cashews and some creamy dressing. But lesson learnt, don't ask for food that isn't from Poland whilst in Poland. They only know how to cook their food, and they do it well.
We asked if we could take a photo of the dessert that belonged to the couple sitting next to us. Mmmm berrylicious.
Mum was in a rush to get back to Chelm to see some old school friends of hers. So we caught the train. Mum sat next to the smelliest man, and it was worse because the heat of the day was just multiplying this stench like crazy. Poor mum.
Hahaha he totally knew I was taking this picture.
Shameless selfies out of pure boredom and mild heatstroke.
Back in Chelm that night, mum went out and I sat with Babcia and Dziadek drawing in my new art supplies. None were actually good enough to put on my blog but hopefully soon I will have some more art to my name.
With love from