Lonely tree of Birkenau

Publisert den

To me, this photo is quite describing of the feeling I get when I am in some parts of Auschwitz-Birkenau. The barracks are long gone, destroyed or looted for building materials after the liberation of the camp in January 1945.

The prisoners and guards are gone, leaving almost nothing else than the foundations of the buildings. The voices are also gone. Not only physically, but also metaphorically.  The few survivors from each barrack are dead, or soon to be.

I don’t know the age of this tree or even if it was there before the camp was built. Now it represents a quiet witness to all that have occurred on that ground. It must be green and beautiful in the summer, with its enormous crown.

I imagine the prisoners looking on the tree and feeling some kind of freedom. On the other hand there were probably no trees inside the camp. There are none to be seen in the pictures I have seen from the war.

This is the true feeling of Birkenau. So enormous, but oh so quiet…

5 Svar på “Lonely tree of Birkenau”

  1. It’s a beautiful picture. I have heard many times that survivors say there were no trees or grass. If there were, they say they would have eaten them. Birkenau can be so beautiful in places. So hard to imagine what transpired there…

  2. Hello Frank,

    Do you remember me? My name is Paula Birch. I was living in Oslo in 2000-2001, an Australian studying architecture and wanting to be a photographer? i hope this is the correct Frank Ruud! You took me to weddings to show me how to take photographs and helped me with tips on developing my black and white hand developed photos in the darkroom at Kringsja Studentby. You had a studio on Majorstue on Kirkeveien I think? Please reply, it would be grat to hear from you!

Legg igjen en kommentar

Din e-postadresse vil ikke bli publisert.

Dette nettstedet bruker Akismet for å redusere spam. Lær om hvordan dine kommentar-data prosesseres.