The deafening silence of Auschwitz…A Black and White film photo essay.

Last November we spent an unforgettable week exploring the beautiful city of Krakow (which has since become one of our favourite ever cities!) Whilst there we took the daunting trip a couple of hours west to Auschwitz. Even months later the weight of emotion experienced that day still bears down on us whenever our minds wander back to that rainy day in Poland. We took along the Film SLR to capture this most nightmarish of places.

 Auschwitz, Birkenau, Poland, Krakow, Film, Black and White, Photography, Concentration camp, Nazi, Arbeit Macht Frei, Oswiecim, Schindler's List,

After our visit last year we wrote a quite emotional piece reflecting upon the experience visiting this gut wrenching place. The feeling of literally walking upon the horrific remnants of history’s most infamously cruel regime. The idea of actually being there, of seeing it, touching it and feeling it deep inside your heart was almost too overwhelming to comprehend.

With the rain coming down and the dark clouds above, the camp almost appeared to us in that monotone harshness. The drops of water hitting the floor echoed as we silently reflected upon the sickening reality which lay before us. Stephen Spielberg famously created Schindler’s List in black and white as it deepens the impact of the story, the duality between good and evil, the contrast showing the violence in all it’s fist clenching brutality.

Black and white film plunges you back to the unforgiving era of Auschwitz, the second world war and Hitler’s march across Europe. It re-connects with the way in which we visualise that era and resembles more the images actually taken back then both in colour and texture. It sinks you deeper into the historical context of what you are witnessing and some how just seems befitting of the joyless horror of this haunting place.

Here are our photos:

 Auschwitz, Birkenau, Poland, Krakow, Film, Black and White, Photography, Concentration camp, Nazi, Arbeit Macht Frei, Oswiecim, Schindler's List,

 Auschwitz, Birkenau, Poland, Krakow, Film, Black and White, Photography, Concentration camp, Nazi, Arbeit Macht Frei, Oswiecim, Schindler's List,

 Auschwitz, Birkenau, Poland, Krakow, Film, Black and White, Photography, Concentration camp, Nazi, Arbeit Macht Frei, Oswiecim, Schindler's List,

 Auschwitz, Birkenau, Poland, Krakow, Film, Black and White, Photography, Concentration camp, Nazi, Arbeit Macht Frei, Oswiecim, Schindler's List,

 Auschwitz, Birkenau, Poland, Krakow, Film, Black and White, Photography, Concentration camp, Nazi, Arbeit Macht Frei, Oswiecim, Schindler's List,

 Auschwitz, Birkenau, Poland, Krakow, Film, Black and White, Photography, Concentration camp, Nazi, Arbeit Macht Frei, Oswiecim, Schindler's List,

 Auschwitz, Birkenau, Poland, Krakow, Film, Black and White, Photography, Concentration camp, Nazi, Arbeit Macht Frei, Oswiecim, Schindler's List,

 Auschwitz, Birkenau, Poland, Krakow, Film, Black and White, Photography, Concentration camp, Nazi, Arbeit Macht Frei, Oswiecim, Schindler's List,

 Auschwitz, Birkenau, Poland, Krakow, Film, Black and White, Photography, Concentration camp, Nazi, Arbeit Macht Frei, Oswiecim, Schindler's List,

 Auschwitz, Birkenau, Poland, Krakow, Film, Black and White, Photography, Concentration camp, Nazi, Arbeit Macht Frei, Oswiecim, Schindler's List,

 Auschwitz, Birkenau, Poland, Krakow, Film, Black and White, Photography, Concentration camp, Nazi, Arbeit Macht Frei, Oswiecim, Schindler's List,

I do believe that one of the reasons why we loved Krakow and Poland so much was because of Auschwitz. Now that sounds a little strange but upon further reflection I think our depth of feeling about the place comes from the scar it left on our heart. Visiting Auschwitz is something that will forever stay with you, and so it should, but our time in Poland seems to be now linked with this level of emotion we rarely encounter. From the highs to the lows it left it mark, the beauty and the horror in equal measure.

I guess not many people out there would have Poland down as their favourite country, but it’s spirit, it’s heart and it’s resilient character won us over from the moment we stepped foot off the plane.

Kochamy Polska!

Further reading:

Have you ever visited Auschwitz, what impact did it have on you?

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Nicola Hilditch-Short

Nic is one half of the Roaming Renegades, a passionate traveller, climber, adventurer, photographer and artist who has a B.A in Fine Art and M.A in Design & Art Direction.