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Leo J Hellmann

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The dead and the damned
By Leo J Hellmann   
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, September 02, 2006
Posted: Saturday, September 02, 2006

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Strange experiences in Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland

          In October 1994 I travelled from Przemysl on the Polish-Ukrainian border to Krakow in Southern Poland.  There was an outbreak of cholera in the Ukraine at that time.  I decided to visit Auschwitz (Oswiecim) and Birkenau (Brzezinka) Death Camps, which were about 40 miles away.

I was disappointed and surprised at the carnival atmosphere in Auschwitz One – with hot dogs and burgers for sale, and lots of bad-mannered children playing games and making lots of noise in the corridors of one of the big red-bricked buildings, where inmates were housed and tortured.  The execution yard was alongside the building and the victims were shot at the wall at the end of the yard.

I left and walked about three kilometres to Birkenau, also known as Auschwitz II.  The huge camp was deserted.  As I walked through the gates I saw that the administration offices were situated alongside them.  There were rows of red-bricked single story buildings on my left, and one of the crematoriums was located in the bottom left-hand corner of the field.  A railway line was coming in the gate, and was on the right-hand side of the blockhouses.  The tracks were extended into the camp in April 1944 and completed in June 1944.

To the right of the track were military style wooden huts.  They had rows of wooden bunks on both sides, and were stark and uninviting.  There was a strong smell of preserved wood.  I went back to the left of the camp, where the red-bricked buildings were located.

The first one felt unpleasant and oppressive.  The second one was similar with a putrid smell of decay.  This one had photos on the wall, which were taken when the camp was in operation.  They had pictures of inmates and SS-guards.  I fancied one of SS-women who was walking alongside a group of inmates.

The moment I stepped inside the entrance of the third building I stopped dead, as I felt I wasn’t alone.  I sensed a powerful presence in the building, which reeked of depravity.  I stood at the top of the aisle, which was about three feet wide and separated a row of large wooden bunks – that were against the wall – from a metallic trough, which went along the centre of the building.  The other side was similar with the bunks facing out.  The blockhouse was approximately forty feet long, but I was unable to see more than twenty feet away.  I noticed a smoky-grey blob, which was clouding my view.  It was close to the ground and was slowly starting to expand and change shape.  The feeling of a presence was frightening and I could almost touch the obnoxious stench of evil, which was creeping towards me.  Suddenly there was a loud noise, similar to the movement of heavy furniture.  Within a few seconds there was another noise similar to the first one, like as if there was a creature trapped between the bunks and the trough, and was trying to break free.  The grey blob was expanding and growing, and getting darker and darker, and the aura, which exuded from it, was starting to envelop me.  Suddenly there was a massive crash - like it finally freed itself – and the black shape was now standing up facing me.  The intensity was overpowering and before the figure was fully erect I dashed out of the building.

            The moment I was clear of the building I no longer felt afraid.  The camp was still deserted and I visited the crematorium.  I felt calm and relaxed, and noticed a rest room for SS members on duty.  There was a kettle and a gas cooker in the corner, which was sharing the same energy with ovens used for disposing of the bodies.

            At approximately 1500 hours I decided to leave.  I walked towards the entrance, and on my right was the perimeter fence with the watchtowers located in strategic positions, and a few trees close to me.  On my left were the red brick buildings, where I had been about twenty minutes earlier, and the railway track was to the left of them.  Just before I came to the third and last blockhouse, which I visited, I heard a humming noise.  I looked up at the trees on my right expecting to see birds.  The trees were barren and there were no birds.  The humming got louder and louder, and when it reached a crescendo I was surrounded by about twenty or thirty men, women and children.  They were well dressed, and the nearest were about two to three feet from me.  They had their arms outstretched towards me and were desperately trying to say something.  They wanted to give me a message or the warning, and were very close, almost touching me.

I wanted to stay, but I couldn’t stop walking, as something was moving me on.  I was surrounded by these people from the moment the humming reached a peak, which lasted for the time it took to walk about one hundred and fifty feet, and as soon as the humming started to drop they disappeared.  This happened near the place, where the transports came in from all over the Poland and Europe.  In the second half of 1944 many of the trains were coming from Hungary.  The selections were made here to check who would work and who would go up the chimney.  I felt in harmony with these people, and believed they were happy and at peace.  The feeling and intensity was indescribable.  I felt safe and could see that they wanted to convey a message to me, but there was no sound, only a deathly silence.  I didn’t stop or speak with them.  I was like a robot that was being controlled by some power outside of me.

I kept this experience inside myself for almost nine years until it surfaced after a life threatening experience.  Now it haunts me.







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Reviewed by mz kimi 2/14/2007
eerie and poignant, wow!

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