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Fat Thursday

KRAKOW TOURS – Thursday 7th Feb –  Fat Thursday.

Opens the last week of carnival revelries before the 46 day Lent, Poles unite to prove how much they cherish their tradition, standing patiently in long queues to buy the Polish doughnut called “paczek”. Gorging on the deep-fried sweet dough cakes is a must and a temptation, to which even the most determined weight-watchers tend to succumb.

Bakeries are ready to please, turning out mind-boggling amounts of the spongy, round doughnuts with different fillings and toppings. According to statistics, around 100 million doughnuts are sold on Fat Thursday. The average Pole eats two and a half such cakes, consuming a total of 500-700 calories.

It is a big set back for those dieting after Christmas consumption excesses. But then, eating a “paczek” on Fat Thursday is supposed to bring good luck.

February 7, 2013 Posted by | Events, This Day In History | , , , , | Leave a comment

BBC Travel – Kazimierz: New life in Krakow’s Jewish quarter

Wander through Kazimierz, better known as the Jewish quarter of Krakow, Poland’s second largest city, and signs of the area’s cultural heritage are everywhere.

Szeroka - Kazimierz

The Old Synagogue dominates Ulica Szeroka (Wide Street), where wooden tables from traditional Jewish restaurants spill out onto the pavement In the evenings while the sound of traditional Jewish klezmer music emanates from the bars and cafes of the surrounding alleys.

via BBC – Travel – New life in Krakow’s Jewish quarter : Cultural Activities, Poland.

February 7, 2013 Posted by | Krakow Travel Advice, Recommendations, Tour Information | , , , | Leave a comment

Birkenau Block 25 – 6th February 1943

Birkenau block 25

On February 6, 1943 at 3:30 am a general roll-call ordered by the camp authorities started in the female camp at Auschwitz II-Birkenau.

All the female prisoners were driven outside of the camp. Poorly dressed, with no food they stood on the snow-covered ground until 5 pm.

They were ordered to run back to the camp. Female guards and SS men stood at the gate and tried to speed their return by hitting them with clubs. Those women who were not able to keep up, as well as those weak, sick and elderly were pulled from the ranks with a hook, and later brought to block 25, where they awaited transportation to the gas chambers.

Block 25 at BIa sector of Birkenau camp (also known as the block of death) was called “waiting room for the gas” (Warteblock für die Vergasung). After chasing all the prisonersback to the camp a special group of the strongest women was formed and forced to collect all remaining corpses of women who had died under the blows of the SS and female guards during the roll call. The corpses were placed in the courtyard of block 25.

During the roll call about 1,000 women died.

February 6, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz, This Day In History | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Arbeit macht frei” appears at Detroit factory

“Arbeit macht frei” (work makes you free) — three of the most profane and chilling words ever written — has been posted on the overpass of the mostly abandoned Packard Plant on the city’s east side.

Arbeit Macht Frei

The phrase is a shocking and mocking reference to the infamous words posted over the entrance ways to a number of Nazi concentration camps during World War II, including Auschwitz, the horrific camp set up in Poland.

It’s unknown just who erected the signs on the massive and graffiti-scarred Packard plant on East Grand Boulevard near Mount Elliot.

The plant has become one of the city’s largest eyesores. It was built by the luxury automaker, which went out of business in 1958.

via Phrase made famous by Nazis appears on Packard Plant | The Detroit News |

February 5, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz, News | , , | Leave a comment

Rudolph Hoess – Auschwitz Commander and Family Man

The ‘kindly’ Auschwitz commander who sent youngsters to gas chambers then went home to play hide and seek with his children

via The ‘kindly’ Auschwitz commander who beat prisoners to death then went home to make dinner for his beloved children | Mail Online.

February 3, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz | Leave a comment

Stella Muller-Madej ‘A Girl from Schindler’s List’ dies age 83.

Stella Müller-Madej, a Holocaust survivor who wrote about being saved by Oskar Schindler, has died.

Stella Muller-Madej

Müller-Madej died on Jan. 29 in Krakow at the age of 83. She was born in 1930 in Krakow. In March 1941, she was moved to the Krakow Ghetto and in 1942 to the Nazi camp in Plaszow. She entered Auschwitz in October 1944. Thanks to the efforts of her uncle, Müller-Madej was listed with her family on Schindler’s list and along with other prisoners was sent to the Brunnlitz factory.

After the war she returned to Krakow, and in 1991 she published a book, “A Girl From Schindler’s List.” In 2001, she published the second part of her memoirs, “A Girl From Schindler’s List: Postwar Years,” which describes the life of her family after the war and the impact of the trauma of World War II on her life.

February 1, 2013 Posted by | Auschwitz, Events, News | , , , | 1 Comment

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