The Swimming Pool at Auschwitz

Brewer

Jedi Master
Twenty-five years ago today, give or take a few days, I was staring in disbelief at a swimming pool in Auschwitz I. I had no idea it was there even though I'd read extensively of the camp's history and it was not marked on the brochure I got from the visitor's centre. From the marked visitors trail I had seen what looked like a diving tower and blocks and had to investigate. I ventured off the track and confirmed that it was a recreational swimming pool. I took in the scene, snapped a photo and turned away, an elderly man, well dressed against the cold was staring at me, leaning on his walking stick.

I thought I was in trouble as I was off the beaten track so I didn’t retrace my steps through the snow but returned to the visitor path at an angle hoping to avoid a confrontation but he limped to intercept me. Busted, or so I thought, I walked straight up to him and apologized for any offence. He was not offended, in accented but perfect English he asked me if there was a memorial to those who died constructing the swimming pool.

I said there was none, he looked sad and said ‘people died constructing that pool, I’d like them to be remembered’ I said I was sorry did you know someone who was here?

‘Yes, I was, I helped construct that pool in November 1944, He drew back his sleeve and revealed his tattoo.

Well, that was my second huge shock, I didn’t know what to say but I offered to help him to see the pool if he wished. Perhaps he could then contact the curators about having a memorial constructed. I helped him to the pool, age and injury had slowed him down, he leant on the rail (pic below) and told his story.

His name was Erling Bauck. The Norwegian survivor of multiple Nazi concentration camps. He was there to take a group of Scandinavian teachers on an educational tour.

We left the pool and he gave me a personal tour of Auschwitz. He showed me where Mengele would conduct his 2-weekly ‘health checks’ to determine whether he’d be sent to the extermination camp. Showed me his quarters and the kitchen where he worked and stole scraps to survive.

It was amazing to observe his face, he would stop and stare, a 1000-yard stare, then point his stick at a place and describe an event that occurred 52 years earlier but there was never a trace of anger, hate or bitterness, he even made emergency room style jokes! He eyes were clear and bright.

Truly an unforgettable day! I returned to Australia later that year, we corresponded briefly but a series of strokes incapacitated him, he died in 2004.
RIP Mr. Bauck. I'll never forget you sir.

Mr. Bauck was disappointed that there was no memorial by the pool and I’m not sure if there is one today but with the internet there is much more information on the subject.

The C’s said somewhere that the Holocaust was a trial run for future events. Well, it looks like that event is upon us. Personally I’ve experienced a lot of high strangeness, some truly nasty stuff. I’ve endured well so far but I hope that I can be as strong and resourceful as Mr. Bauck was and let go if need be.

I wish the same for you too, may you find the strength to endure and let go if the time arrives.

I know we’ve had our disagreements in the past, even had my comments moderated for a while! I hope there’s no hard feelings, I’m here to help in any way I can.

Finally, a big thank you to you all for all the fantastic research you’ve done and continue to do, the resulting information you provide is indispensable!

Peace and love to you all, Brewer

As a postscript, some say this is just a tank converted to fool the allies that Auschwitz was not as bad as depicted. Mr Bauck said it was constructed for the use of the SS and trusted prisoners, was never used as such the camp was liberated before is then.
Erling Bauck Pool.jpg
 

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Tauriel

Jedi Council Member
Thank you, Brewer, for sharing this wonderful story with us.
Such a very personal meeting with 'history' must have been deeply touching when after so many years your memory still hold it dear.

'History' met me the other way 2 years ago when I learned that my great-great-uncle has been a convicted war criminal who after being sentenced to death was secretly pardoned and held some intelligence agencies busy until his death.
Since I know about this I've been questioning my genetics and wonder what the lesson might be except of 'making it better'.
 

Brewer

Jedi Master
Thank you, Brewer, for sharing this wonderful story with us.
Such a very personal meeting with 'history' must have been deeply touching when after so many years your memory still hold it dear.

'History' met me the other way 2 years ago when I learned that my great-great-uncle has been a convicted war criminal who after being sentenced to death was secretly pardoned and held some intelligence agencies busy until his death.
Since I know about this I've been questioning my genetics and wonder what the lesson might be except of 'making it better'.
Thanks Tauriel, try not to be to concerned about your genetics, was your uncle programmed from an early age or did he willingly take up the cause? I'm sure it won't apply to you and the fact that your here says a lot too. During these times, in your day to day activities you've no doubt noticed who those future camp guards will be.

Bear in mind, Hermann's brother Albert Göring was anti-Nazi, looks like many children of the leading Nazis have denounced their father's activities.

While working in a Bavarian hospital I met Nazi war veterans. They were subjected to intense programming from an early age and it had a devastating effect. There were veterans dying in that hospital and many were terrified of what lay beyond. Many were heavily programmed boys, drunk and high on Pervetin when they committed their deeds. If Hitler had never come to power they would have just been normal Bavarian farm boys.

It's amazing how often history is just around the corner. I moved to a small village in Australia 19 years ago, my neighbor was Hans Post, one of Otto Skorzeny's SS commandos, I became his handyman.

When I became a medic in 09 my patients included a Messerschmitt fighter ace from the Battle of Britain and one of Hitler's bodyguards. Finally there was one Waffen SS man whose home was crammed with Nazi artifacts. I used to take his blood pressure under a massive Eagle clutching a swastika in it's talons as Hitler gazed on from his bakelite frame!

All these Nazis became model citizens in Australia so maybe the genetics didn't play much of a part, just the programming.

From an early age I was programmed, lots of high strangeness. Aged 13 I turned from a happy kid to a mid-level mess until I discovered how to deal with it just before turning 30.

Don't let the bastards win! Regardless of your origins!

Cheers!
 

Tauriel

Jedi Council Member
Thank you for your kind words, Brewer.

I'm not too concerned. It's just something to ponder and wonder about and it's also fascinating.

I learned late in my life that in my family there have been the usual garden-variety nazis, one high profile nazi and enough decent people who never took the bait.
The whole subject was not spoken about. When as a kid I asked my grandmother she always turned mute.
My great-grandmother was a good woman at least that's what I've heard.
Her brother fought in WW1, joined the police forces after the war, became a member of the NSDAP in 1932, climbed the ladder, became SS-Gruppenführer and General-Lieutenant of the Police and ended up as the commander of the Ordnungspolizei in the protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia.

I also wondered about him having been programmed due to his career.
His death sentence was turned into a life sentence, reduced to 25 years and in 1961 there was a prisoner exchange with Czech agents and until his death he was suspected of being a Czech spy.

My great-grandfather married 3 times. His second wife also came from a high profile Nazi family but since I have no blood relationship with them I didn't dig too deep.
All in all it is a fascinating thing to look upon history in general and on a personal level because as we all know and can see today, those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Our exchange here might have triggered the wish for some deeper digging from my side.
Thank you for that.
 

GreyCat

Padawan Learner
Fascinating story. A reminder to what we must not ever allow to happen ever again. However, the people in general are stupidly listening to this farcical covid narrative. Makes me wonder can we still save the humanity or is is simply- too stupid to be saved?
 

Tauriel

Jedi Council Member
Makes me wonder can we still save the humanity or is is simply- too stupid to be saved

My opinion:
There is a choice that has to be made by every individual based on free will. We might be able to help if our help is chosen and asked for.
I wouldn't want to life with the burden of the notion that we can save humanity.
It's kind of blasphemous as well implying that something is wrong and needs to be fixed and that we could possibly have the tools to do so.
That's 3D thinking. The only help we can give is to grow in knowledge, lead by example, cherish truth and give freely if asked, osit.
But honestly a big part of humanity doesn't seem to be willing to go the next step yet.
And it's probably not stupidity but simply the lesson needed for further development.
 
Wow, this gave me goosebumps. What an incredible story and a privilege you had in meeting him. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for the reminder about what was and what could/will certainly be.
 
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