Saturday, 28 April 2018

Auschwitz study tour: day 4

Today (Saturday) the delegation visited Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest death camp created by the NAZI Third Reich.

It was a very emotional experience for the delegates who visited
the various blocks used for housing those held in the camp, including those used for women and children.

We also stood at the selection ramp, visited all 4 crematoria, soviet prisoners graves and other open graves, the Canada area (where the belongings of those arriving were sorted) and the Sauna Building (used for shaving the heads of those arriving, tattooing and disinfecting).

We held a memorial to Jane Haining, the only Scottish woman known to have been killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Jane's niece Deirdre led the family tribute outside Block 9 where Jane was held before her death. Jane wrote a letter two days prior to her death to a friend which read: "Even here on the way to heaven are mountains" referring to her beloved (Dunscore & Budapest).

We also marked International Workers Memorial Day with a candle-lit ceremony at Crematoria 4 led by branch health and safety officer Lorna Glover. Crematoria 4 was blown up by the Sonderkemando with gun powder smuggled in by four women who were subsequently caught and hanged in front of the camp later.

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