All photographs copyright
© Alan Jacobs.

The Death Gate (2)

This view is from inside the rail entrance to Birkenau. The building it passes through is the main SS guardhouse. Notice the windows in the tower. You may recall the scene in the film "Schindler's List", where the women are brought into Auschwitz at night with a large spotlight shining alongside the train. For a view of it from behind the light above the ramp see [link]. The object at the bottom of the frame, near the track is a rail switch. For explanation see [link].

Scrolling right you see the road where prisoners were marched to and from work, and the brick barracks of BIa, the first half of the women's camp. Then, further on, where victims just off transports walked to the gas.

The rail track is the major vein leading to the heart of the Nazi massive murder system. To it flowed trains from all over Europe; north, south, east, and west. There were other extermination centers, to be sure, but this was by far the largest in area and scope.

As you scroll a bit further, you see the entire length of the ramp, almost 3/4k. Moving again to the right is Quarantine in the men's camp, BIIa (see Birkenau Map). For a painting depicting the ramp in the time of the Nazis, see [link].