Blocks of Hell, Auschwitz & Birkenau

Blocks to Hell

Blocks at Birkenau Concentration Camp

 

Blocks of Hell

A blended image consisting of two images taken at Auschwitz and the Salt Mines in Poland. I have created a look and feel of the entrance to hell. These blocks are very rough, uneven, cramped, cold and horrible, yet thousands of people were forced to survive in these appalling conditions.

History

After the Soviet Union handed over the camp to Poland in 1947, the parliament declared the area to be a museum on July 2, 1947. Simultaneously the first exhibition in the barracks was opened. In Stalinist Poland, on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of the first deportation of Polish captives to camp Auschwitz, the exhibition was revised under assistance of former inmates. However, this exhibition was influenced by the Cold War and next to pictures of Jewish ghettos. Photos of slums in the USA were presented.

After Stalin’s death, a new exhibition was planned in 1955, which is basically still valid today. In 1959 every nation who had victims in Auschwitz received the right to present its own exhibition. However, victims like homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Sinti and Roma and Yeniche people did not receive these rights. The state of Israel was also refused the allowance for its own exhibition as the murdered Jews in Auschwitz were not citizens of Israel. In April 1968 the Jewish exhibition, designed by Andrzej Szczypiorski, was opened. A scandal occurred in 1979 when Pope John Paul II held a mass in Birkenau and called the camp a “Golgotha of our times”.

In 1962 a prevention zone around the museum in Birkenau (and in 1977 one around the museum in Auschwitz) was established in order to maintain the historical condition of the camp. These zones were confirmed by the Polish parliament in 1999. In 1967 the first big memorial monument was inaugurated and in the 1990’s the first information boards were set up. – Wikipedia

Photography Tips:

The featured image is a blend of two photographs using Photoshop. The black and white tones helps highlight the only colour in the image. I wanted a feeling of ‘Hell’ to come through on this image, but maintaining the historical look. Blending is a great technique to play with, you can turn a couple of photos into a new art piece.

 

International Photography Awards

Honorable Mention 2016, ‘Road to Nowhere’ in Travel & Tourism category

 

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