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Auschwitz (part 1)

Posted August 26th, 2017 at 11:05 AM by Solidaire
Updated August 26th, 2017 at 11:08 AM by Solidaire

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The main entrance to Auschwitz concentration camp. The infamous "Arbeit macht frei" sign dominates the scene. "Work sets you free", a slogan used by the Nazis to greet prisoners in a number of concentration camps, not just in Auschwitz. It is said that the "B" was made upside down by the prisoners as an act of defiance.

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The perimeter of the camp and its...
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Birkenau (part 3)

Posted June 5th, 2017 at 10:16 AM by Solidaire
Updated July 29th, 2017 at 08:54 AM by Solidaire

The barracks in this vast camp were mostly wooden prefabricated horse barns, laid upon the swampy, constantly wet ground without any foundations. Few remain, leaving behind a forest of brick chimneys, sole survivors in this otherworldly place.

Below is the interior of one such barrack, in the Quarantine section of the camp. Left and right, spaces where the bunkers once were. The brick stove can be seen at the far end, a construct attached to it running through the centre of the barrack....
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Birkenau (part 2)

Posted June 5th, 2017 at 10:15 AM by Solidaire
Updated July 29th, 2017 at 09:01 AM by Solidaire

An explanatory layout of Krema II.

N: the railway coming right up to the extermination installations
L: gates to the gas chamber and crematorium of Krema II (seen in previous entry)

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Entrance (A) to the underground room (C) where victims had to undress before entering the gas chamber.

Katabasis, the descent into Hades.
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The...
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Birkenau (part 1)

Posted June 5th, 2017 at 10:14 AM by Solidaire
Updated July 29th, 2017 at 09:03 AM by Solidaire

The Gate of Death, entrance to Birkenau (or Auschwitz II) extermination camp.
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The gatehouse was built in 1943, long after the Birkenau camp was first opened. The first inmates, who were Soviet Prisoners of War, arrived at Birkenau on October 7, 1941. At first, the gate shown in the photo above was for trucks and pedestrians. Railroad tracks were not laid through the gate until the Spring of 1944, just before transports of Hungarian...
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First clash of the Cold War: The Greek Civil War and Greek McCarthyism

Posted May 7th, 2011 at 07:39 PM by Solidaire
Updated May 29th, 2017 at 04:30 AM by Solidaire

An often ignored page of modern European history, and one of its grimmest, is the Greek Civil War (1946-1949), erupting just as the embers of WWII were dying out.

Even as the Western powers and their Soviet allies were dismembering the remnants of the Nazist empire, the stage was being set for the next power struggle: The Cold War. It was becoming increasingly evident that the former allies would soon cease to be so, and that their spheres of power should be swiftly determined to...
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