A Week in Poland, Part 3 : Auschwitz II (Birkenau)

The main Auschwitz I camp (I blogged about earlier) gets all the attention. It has most of the iconic imagery everyone associates with the Holocaust, most notably the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate (“Work Sets You Free”). While horrific things definitely happened there, and in fact nobody that entered was able to exchange work for their freedom (perhaps only delayed their death by some number of days or weeks), it was a much smaller place than I expected. A few rows of buildings, some of which we went inside, some of which we skipped only to avoid more mental exhaustion.

Head over to Auschwitz II (Birkenau), only a couple of kilometers away, and a sledge hammer hits you over the head with the phenomenal scale of the operation. This was a large work death camp that was obviously the result of a very intricate plan.

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A Week in Poland, Part 2 : Auschwitz I

I feel all kinds of different emotions for all kinds of different people – sorrow, envy, pity, joy. But nothing is as breathtaking as stepping inside a concentration camp, and the inevitable and involuntary feelings those steps can stir about the people involved on both sides. You can read about the Holocaust all day long, and I have, but I don’t think anything can really prepare you for actually being here.

No I did not take this picture

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Recovering old photos

So these jerks over at “New Ventures Corp” scooped up my domain (aaronbertrand.com), are squatting on it, and won’t entertain offers < $500 USD. So, they can keep it.

I thought that all of my content was gone, but then I realized that all they did was take over the domain name and DNS; my content still exists. I recovered a ton of great pictures (over 800 I think) and am posting this here for now. I'll revisit and make this post feature a less intensive slide show, the way it worked on my old site.


1999

Manitoulin

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CanAm Cup 2015

This weekend we had our first full-family road trip since Nora was born. The occasion? Our annual curling pilgrimage. What a blast! While I finished second for at least the 5th year in a row (and I still don’t have my name on our coveted trophy), I had a fantastic time with a bunch of great friends and family, and I feel like the overall quality of the curling has skyrocketed too. The curling club loves having us take over their joint for the day, and has already asked us for next year’s date so they can book us in before anyone else.

Anyway, here are a few shots from the event:

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2ndplace

(That says “Second Place Trophy” – nice Dan!)

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Thank you North Bay, by the way, for the balmy weather to send us off (that’s °F, not °C):

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Can Am Cup 2014

Last weekend, we headed up to Canada for the 7th annual Can Am Cup. The trip didn’t start off great – Nicole got a ticket in New York State, not far from her debacle a few years ago. I was kind of surprised we even got pulled over; she was going 78 in a 65. Usually they don’t even blink until you’re well over 80.

Other than that, the trip up was largely uneventful. Splitting the driving up between three drivers makes it go pretty quickly, and having a good little traveler who tolerates brief stops helps too.

Curling day was cold.

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We had a lot of fun – four teams in a round robin, everyone finished 2-1.

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