Monday, November 28, 2011

An Accidental Edit...

accidentally edited this picture and the end product came out drastically different than the original

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Going to be in SD...

from December 18th until the 22nd. 

then back to Nor Cal for Christmas with the family until the 27th or 28th which is when I will be returning to SD for good.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

i am thankful for...

my family

my friends

my gf

and the chance to study abroad in Vienna, Austria

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

First International Econ Course Tonight

Just getting ready to head out to my first International Econ course tonight. I am looking forward to the course because it is actually taught by my own study abroad director, Dr. Kevin Archer. Should be an interesting experience because each class meetingis 4 hours long. Which makes this the longest class I will have ever taken. But the bright part about the 4 hour long class situation is that after only three weeks I will satisfy a major course requirement for my business administration degree from Point Loma.So, I should be able to survive.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Krakow, Poland

Traveling in Comfort

Arriving in Krakow's Train Station
The first sign that November 11th was Poland's Independence Day. We had NO idea.
Our home away from home, away from home

How could this hostel NOT be cool?

This place was much nicer than the hostel in Salzburg, Austria

Timo's being studious
Who doesn't love a buffet? And on top of that, who doesn't love a burrito buffet? We did not end up eating here but did get our Mexican fix at a place called THE MEXICAN (pictures below)

The original moat

Entering the Town Center

Another sign that November 11th was a special day. This photo was taken around 9 AM on a Friday morning and there was practically no one in the Town Center.

Of course we ate here!!! This was the first decent Mexican food we have had since leaving San Diego at the end of August.
Town Center when its dead

Town Center when its buzzing
THE Church

The Church again...

And again, with a pigeon
Hard Rock Cafe in Krakow!!! No, we did not go. Some guy in our group was being a total buzz kill about it. Not going to name any names, but his real name is Cristobal

Army Man

Captain Jack Sparrow

Uh, I don't know

No idea on this one either
Your guess is better than mine
The coldest weather I have ever been in.

Monday, November 14, 2011


There really are no words to describe this experience, so I am just going to 
post the pictures I took with short captions. Some of the pictures I decided to edit as black & white as I feel this edit makes the photo that much more impactful. The Auschwitz facilities are not let in tact as a tourist destination for beauitful sights, but rather as a memory so that we may never forget.

"the easiest way for man to relive history is by forgetting the past."

the entrance to Auschwitz Main Camp with a sign over head that reads "ARBEIT MACHT FREI" which means "Work makes (you) free." A complete lie. Prisoners would walk by this sign each morning when heading to work camps and at night when they returned to the camp.

The building that housed the kitchen for the main camp. In front of this building is also where morning and evening roll calls would take place.

Registration cards for incoming prisoners.

These registration cards were only created for those prisoners who were selected to join the work camp. For those prisoners who were deemed to be of no benefit to the Nazis no card was made as they were lead straight to the gas chambers and crematorium.

Subsequently, death cards were created for those died while in camp. The reasons listed were heart attack, flu, or something other than the actual causes of death such as being poisoned, worked to death, or starved.

The countries from which prisoners were brought to Auschwitz.

An aerial map of the Auschwitz compound. Auschwitz I Main Camp in the middle, Auschwitz II Birkenau (held 100,000 prisoners) to the left and Auschwitz III Monowitz to the lower right. Auschwitz III was created to keep the prisoners who worked in the chemical factory (just north of the Camp III) closer than the Main Camp.

An example of the poison used in Auschwitz, Zyklon Bwhich created a cyanide gas

A pile of the used containers that were left over
This is how the front of every building looked. You can't see it in this picture, but the steps leading up to the front door have worn indents about an inch deep from all the steps that had been taken on them during the 4 years of operation.

Auschwitz I Main Camp opened in in May 1940. Auschwitz I Main Camp was held mainly political prisoners and prisoners of war. It was not until the FINAL SOLUTION was enacted that Auschwitz became the main center for Jewish prisoners.

There were 20 Blocks (housing barracks) in total. Originally, Auschwitz I Main Camp held just over 10,000 prisoners at a time but was expanded until it could hold 20,000 prisoners at a time.
A pile of 25,000 pairs of shoes.

The uniforms that the prisoners wore.

This building was Black 11, "Prison Inside Prison." This build was used to punish prisoners who had broke various rules. The punishments were to be held in standing cells overnight (the cell was not wide enough to sit down in when it was full with 4 prisoners at a time), starvation cells, and dark cells (cells in the basement that only had one tiny window allowing light and fresh air in).

The most severe punishment served in Block 11 was death by firing squad. 

The chimney rising from the lone crematorium in Auschwitz I Main Camp.

An imitation of the original furnaces used in the crematorium. The originals were destroyed when the Nazis were fleeing.


the main guard tower at the entrance to Auschwitz II Birkenau. The tunnel below is where the trains would enter.

A view from the main guard tower towards the side of the camp that housed the women and children in single story brick buildings.
Facing the side of the camp that housed all the male prisoners in single story wooden buildings. Over 800 prisoners were held in one building at a time.

The station where the prisoners were unloaded from the train cars that brought them from all over Europe to Auschwitz. Once unloaded, the prisoners were split into two lines, men in one line and all the women and children in the other line. Then one by one the prisoners would be looked over by a doctor and be told to either go right or go left. One way led to the gas chambers, the other to the administration building to be process and registered as a prisoner.

Looking back towards the main guard tower through the gate known as "The Gate to Hell."
Looking back at the main guard tower from the middle of the station where prisoners were unloaded.

An example of the type of train cars that prisoners were transferred in. The only fresh air they got for the whole trip was through the tiny air ventilation opening on the side.
At the very end of the train tracks, where the two gas chambers and crematoriums at Auschwitz II Birkenau were located.

One of the two gas chambers and crematoriums.

The Nazis blew the gas chambers and crematoriums up as they were fleeing. Over 1.1 million prisoners lost their lives in Auschwitz, 90% of which were Jews.

The sign reads "To the memory of the men, women and children who fell victim to the Nazi genocide. Here lie their ashed. May their souls rest in peace."

A close up look at the brick buildings that housed the women and children.

This where the women and children slept. Three levels, cement on the bottom with two top wood bunks. No blankets, no pillows, no mattresses. As many as 8 people had to sleep on each level.

One of the two kitchen buildings used to cook "food" for the women and children.

This is where the men slept in the wooden buildings. Wood bunks with large gaps in between the cross beams. Once again, no bedding and the beds were angled pretty sharply to one side.

The outside of one of the wooden buildings.

Over 1.3 million prisoners were deported to Auschwitz, with over 1.1 million losing their lives to poisoning, being over worked, starved to death, frozen to death, from the various diseases throughout the camp, or died as a result of the various medical experiments being performed on them.

90% of the victims were Jews.

May we never forget.....