Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Polish Postcards!!

Received another 2 postcards that I posted to myself during my eastern europe holidays. This time from Krakow, Poland! This postcard shows the iron sign bearing the infamous Nazi slogan "Arbeit macht frei" (“Work sets you free”) that spanned the main entrance to the former Auschwitz death camp.

The trip to Auschwitz concentration camp was an eye opener. Consisting of Auschwitz I (the Stammlager or main camp); Auschwitz II-Birkenau (the Vernichtungslager or extermination camp); Auschwitz III-Monowitz, also known as Buna, a labor camp; and 45 satellite camps, it was designated as the locus of the "final solution of the Jewish question in Europe." From spring 1942 until the fall of 1944, transport trains delivered Jews to the camp's gas chambers from all over Nazi-occupied Europe. The total number who died at Auschwitz is estimated at between 1.1 million and 1.5 million, 90% of which were Jews; also among the dead were some 19,000 Roma (Gypsies), who were killed in July 1944, and some 83,000 Poles.Those not killed in the gas chambers died of starvation, forced labor, lack of disease control, individual executions, and purported medical experiments. Much of the camp was later converted into a museum and memorial. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.
The stamp franked on the left was issued on 27 Nov 2009 by Poczta Polska for its Christmas postage stamps. This stamp features a stylised drawing of Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, and the other one in this series shows a picture of angels singing carols on the background of a christmas tree. The stamp franked on the right corner of this card belongs to the "Polish Manor Houses" series, issued on 20th June 2001.

Also sharing some of our Auschwitz photos...

The Jewish ramp at Auschwitz II-Birkenau. To be sent to the right meant labor; to the left, the gas chambers.

The main gate of Auschwitz II-Birkenau Auschwitz II-Birkenau

Arbeit macht frei sign, Auschwitz I

The second postcard depicts the lovely main square of Krakow.

This is the postbox where i dropped my postcards!

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