Al and Mike walked 180 miles in 10 days from the 21st of January to the 30th of January. They left the Blechhammer Concentration camp 75 years to the hour when Al's father, Eddie Willner, was forced to march westward with 4,000 other prisoners from the Auschwitz concentration camp system. Al, after extensive research, deciphered the most probably route his father took.
They walked mainly along rural roads. At times, they crossed fields and wound their way through mountain paths. They skirted towns and cities as records indicated that the SS guards leading the evacuations wanted to avoid population centers.
There was mass chaos during the end of January 1945 as tens of thousands of concentration camp prisoners, fleeing civilians and Wehrmacht army maneuvers were taking place as the Soviet Army's offensive sliced into Silesia.
Weather, one of the coldest recorded, and Nazi brutality made the marches of the already sick and weaken prisoners into a walking hell.
Of the 4,000 Jewish prisoners that left the Auschwitz area it is believed at least 800 perished along the way. Eddie Willner's march took 13 days.
A collection of images from the Walk in Remembrance and some of the people that welcomed and helped us along the way.
From Blechhammer to Szybowice |
From Burgrabice to Gross-Rosen |
The Walk in Remembrance team |
Michael Nelson, Albert Willner, Michael Bayles
Dziękuję Ci |