Auschwitz – photographing the Holocaust pt. 1

Auschwitz is somewhere everyone should really visit –  to witness the scene and symbol of the descent from civilised society to the depths of human depravity in less than a decade.  This wasn’t my first trip to a concentration camp – I’d been to Buchenwald and Begren-Belsen in Germany  – so the shock to the system was a bit subdued compared to others in my group experiencing this for the first time.

Like most visitors, I brought my camera but how should you go about photographing what is a memorial, a museum, a crime-scene albeit one on most tourist itineraries to this part of Poland.  The debate on taking selfies at Auschwitz has of course broken the internet over recent years, but  photographing what’s there to try and capture its impact or simply to document what’s there now is as valid as writing about it.  A bit of sensitivity goes without saying.

The two sites are visually very different.  Auschwitz 1 is the better-preserved site and has more of a memorial/museum feel to it while Birkenau is unrelentingly bleak and appalling. To compare I’ve shown Auschwitz 1 in colour and Birkenau in monochrome.

When you enter the camp, the first striking visual is the sign.  It’s a replica to replace stolen the original but doesn’t lessen its impact.  We all know the context.

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As you walk round the site, the barbed wire and lookout posts are all around.

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Even the shape of the posts and the street lamps lend to the sinister feel of the place

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Several of the blocks retain their designation with some explanatory signs.  Block 10 was notorious for medical experimentation.


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Inside the blocks there are some restrictions on photography.  The office looks innocuous until you see the Hitler portrait.  I’ve often found the bureaucracy and industry behind the Holocaust to be especially chilling.

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Many blocks have exhibits of possessions taken from those killed at Auschwitz.  One of the better known exhibits is of the shoes

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I’m not sure if photography was permitted in this area but the crematorium below – interior and exterior – is a reminder of the industrial brutality.

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And that’s Auschwitz 1.  Next, was the quick bus ride to Birkenau.

Photos shot on the Olympus E-450 DSLR

Hol18: and that was it

Last few shots of Munich.  It was my favourite spot on the European tour – the beer, the weather, the very German signage, the beer, the architecture, the metro (clean and punctual) and the fact that every green space contains a beer garden.  I’ll go back.

 

a wee kiosk
Shopping for the Touristen
tat
quality tat
peters tower
Peter’s church ticket booth
window box shadows
windows
mezzomix
Mezzo Mix – the genius of adding coke and fanta
frauenkirch1
Frauenkirche
albertgasse
quiet beer drinking area
wee fountain man
fountain heads
alone in the alter hof
a quiet part of Munich
hotel am markt
such wonderful signage
munich palace
the Palace
munich door
Door of Munich
valentin museum
Valentin Museum

 

And finally – lederhosen, sex and falafel all under one roof. So German

so german

Ricoh KR5 and Agfa APX

Hol18: Munichers..

Munich was worth the wait after a three week tour around Europe.  It’s one of the more photogenic cities I’ve visited with plenty going on.  Here’s a few more shots

Munich Boyband
stylish boy band
munich boules1
der Petanque
munich arches
archways of Munich
two old blokes
two oul blokes and a fountain
munich scene1
one oul bloke and a fountain
frauenrauchen
Trachten rauchen

Ricoh KR5 and Agfa APX100 from DM

Hol 18: Marienplatz

As a central square and meeting /arrival place, Marienplatz is hard to beat.  There’s the large Rathaus, S-Bahn station, shops, all the beer you can eat and all the tourist tat you can buy.

marienplatz
You are here.
marienplatz bike rides
cycle tours
marienplatz SU
Marienplatz
marienplatz old new
the new Rathaus on the left
reel around the fountain contrasty
Fountains
marienplatz spires
Marienplatz Spires
Smoking at kiosk with Pretzel
Tat and the Giant Pretzel
marienplatz
Marienplatz from the Galeria cafe

In the Rathaus courtyard there is a pricey restaurant (I didn’t) and plenty to photograph.

neues rathaus
the new old Rathaus
rathaus inner 3
Restaurant
rathaus inner 2
Two lions
rathaus inner 6 contrasty
Inner Rathaus
Into the Rathaus
Contrasty
rathaus inner 7
Rathaus restuarant
rathaus exhibition
Rathaus Photo exhibition space
rathaus inner 1
Windows
ratskeller sign
Ratskeller

Shot on Ricoh Kr5 and Agfa APX100

Hol18: Munich – Daytime Drinking

Munich is all about the beer – there are countless places to drink – indoor and outdoor, particularly outdoor and even on a Sunday, when shops are all closed the drink continues to flow.
Viktualienmarkt round the corner from Marienplatz is a great palce to start.

munich beergarden 2
Viktu-alien-markt.  Very ‘day-earth-stood-still’..
munich beergarden 4
Drunk and orderly queue
munich beergarden 5
daytime drinking
bier hier
waiting for drinkers
munich beergarden 1
Munich’s smallest
munich beergarden 6
Beer Garden and… pole

corner

munich beergarden 3
bring the baby for a pint

Away from the main beer garden,you can always find somewhere for a beer when you see that exquisite signage or well turned out staff.

they call her ivy
Ivy
traditional eating
Waitress
bierhalle
Waiters
paulaner
Paulaner sold here
munich street scene
more food n drink

or if you don’t fancy a beer, there’s aways the traditional Bavarian Coffee Haus..

starbucks munich style
die Starbucks

All shot on the Ricoh KR5 and Agfa APX100  – €4 a roll from Drogerie Markt

Hol18: Munich and Beer #1

Munich or München (but why is it FC Bayern Munich in English and not FC Bavaria Munich ? – we need to know) has long been on the bucket list despite around 25 trips to Germany over the years.  Finally I got there as the final stop on my 2018 European tour with a few days to kill before heading back to Dublin.  And of course as the least hipster tourist in the world, my first stop was the Hofbräuhaus.  The world famous beer hall and tourist trap.  And it was magnificent despite the crowds and tourist prices.

hofbrauhaus1
Entrance to a world of beer
hofbrauhaus2
outside the Hofbräuhaus

 

Once indoors, it was time to go digital with the lovely Fuji X20.

Hofbräuhaus, Munich
the ubiquitous logo
Hofbräuhaus, Munich
The HB Barrel
Hofbräuhaus, Munich
see what they did there?
Hofbräuhaus, Munich
a swift half
Hofbräuhaus, Munich
the wee shop
Hofbräuhaus, Munich
the locals’ table (I saw no locals…)
Hofbräuhaus, Munich
tonight’s turn
Hofbräuhaus, Munich
shredding tuba solo
Hofbräuhaus, Munich
gettin’ funky with the spoons

Many other photos were taken on the Huawei P9, but were drinking selfies which are better not to be shown.

Colour pictures – the Fuji X20, mono on the Ricoh KR5 and Fomapan 100

Hol18: Carry On Up the Kehlstein

Visiting the Eagle’s Nest.

Eagles nest sign 2
The easier way to see the Eagle’s Nest

The Kehlstein, site of the Eagle’s Nest and the Nazis’ Bavarian getaway outside Berchtesgaden has always held a bit of fascination.  Is it a case of considering whether even the most evil of humanity needed the odd vacation or a natural curiosity to visit a significant historial site which happens to be in a spectacular location?  I’ll go with the latter.

Berchtesgaden Bahnhof
Berchtesgaden Bahnhof

The Kehltstein can be reached on foot (long and very hot in summer) or you can get the bus from the train station and use the path (about 40 mins climb) or you can get the lift via a dark and cold tunnel.

Eagles Nesttunnel 1
Entrance to the Eagles Nest Tunnel – built in 1938
EaglesNest tunnel 2
long dark cold tunnel of the Nazis

Once up, it’s time to enjoy the views from the top and have an enjoyable walk as well as a suitably priced coffee at the Kehlsteinhaus.

Eagles Nest view 2
Kehlsteinhaus
Eagles nest busker
high altitude busking
Eagles nest bloke taking photo on ledge
brave man
Eagles nest bloke
Man on a rock
Eagles nest cafe
The high altitude priced Kehlsteinhaus
Eagles Nest sign
Kehlsteinhaus
Kongisee Romy schneider
View of the Kehlstein from the Romy Schneider Haus, Königsee

Shot on the Vivitar V3000s (before it died) and Fomapan100

Hol18: auf wiedersehen goodbye

I enjoyed Salzburg – plenty to see and a great city for walking about.  I probably didn’t get the best of it not being a classical music lover or enjoying fine (= expensive) dining.  However there are a few city views that would warrant a return.

 

salzburg along the river
View along the River Salz
innenhof
Inner city Cafe – Salzburg style

bernhard

cafe altstadt
Hotel Altstadt – fixer a bit spent in developing…
salzburg viewpoint
Salzburg Spire
salzburg SoM path
Cycling from the Sound of Music tour

Kit – Ricoh KR5 and Fomapan 100

 

Hol18: Signs of Salzburg

Austria and southern Germany have really eye catching signage on hotels, cafes, shops – whatever some old building needs to identify itself with.

salzburg  apothek sign
A fancy chemist.  Engel’s
Salzburg Cafe Innenhof
Inner city cafe – Salzburg style

 

 

salzburg Gosser sign
Gösser drank here
salzburg towers
A nice bit of sign, spire and cloud

 

cafe konditorei
sweetie shop / cafe
salzburg street hats
more signage
corner cafe salzburg
Eulenspiegel bar

Ricoh KR5 with fomapan 100.