Auschwitz Birkenau Poland commemoration travel Ukraine border

Dear all

Last week we travelled to Krakau poland to finally visit Auschwitz
Very impressive visit which i had not expected, the size of it all, the stories…
if you have the chance we surely advice you to make the trip.

We must say it was overshadowed from the beginning since the war in Ukraine started, we had expected to have heaps of fun but there was just something in the air knowing that the Ukraine border was 3 hours drive from Auschwitz, walking on the site knowing what is happening on the other side of the border, all the refugees..
My own son is born in Belarus and lives many years in Moscow, that makes this all very strange and though since we have friends and family all over the world.
Planned before the war was visiting a shooting range the handle all the WW2 guns and shoot them, but it did not felt good to do at this moment, instead we decided to hire a car, buy supplies, a big thank you to friends and costumer who chopped in their bit on my FB post, this way the car was packed to the roof!

Border arrival after a few hours drive.. military aircraft everywere, loads of police and cars filled with supplies, trucks full, and empty vans driving towards the Ukraine border.
with help from police we found our way to a refugee center, first stop over the border and we were somewhat shocked to see what was going on there, woman, children elderly, thankfully many aid workers, busses coming in and out.
At the hotel we had a sign premade in Cyrillic language reading ” free safe ride to Krakau airport or trainstations” after holding the sign up in the hall full of family’s a woman with her mother and 3 year old son came over, a polish man helped translate, we helped carry their bags to the car, polish government checked my identity, photographed the car( for safety of the refugees it was good arranged in the chaos) and we drove off..
Totally unknown family in the car, communication pretty much not possible as i did not speak Ukraine and they did not speak english, but facial expressions can say a lot, and with a smiling kid in car thats all that matters. we dropped them off a few hours down the road in Krakau, we hope they will one day can return safely to home and their husband..

Photos attached

Grtz Bas

war belongs in a Museum or video game.