A town that grew out of silver.

Our accommodation in Broken Hill was a converted pub that used to be called the Duke of Cornwall

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I’d asked for an upstairs room so that we could use the balcony in the evenings.

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‘You know who’ on the balcony – in the background can be seen the ‘tailing’ or waste products from the old mines.

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Part of the balcony overlooking the main street of Broken Hill.

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We were able to drive to the top of the tailing and view the town below.

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On the top of the tailing is a monument to all the miners who have lost their lives in the mines.

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We walked inside the memorial and found that every miner who had been killed while working a Broken Hill mine is recorded. The deaths start in 1885 and carry on to the early part of this century. The names go on and on

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Of course around Australia we have the Big Banana, Big Prawn, Big Crayfish, and Big Marino sheep to name just a few. Here in Broken Hill they have the BIG SEAT!

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People used to be able to use the seat, but I don’t think the artist intended that it should be used as a real seat, because I couldn’t see any access to reach the seat (steps etc). As you see it is now surrounded by a fence, perhaps to comply with health and safety and make sure a user couldn’t sue the town council if they fell off or through the slats of the seat.

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The city is not busy – Maureen standing in the main street of Broken Hill outside our accommodation.

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A short walk from the ‘Cornwall’ and we came to the town centre. This is all that is left of the original town hall. Behind the façade it is a now a car park, where the remainder of the building used to stand until the 1970’s. It is thanks to the Broken Hill historical society that they managed to save the front aspect of the building.
Fortunately the post office next door is still operating as a post office.

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Not far from the town hall is the Palace Hotel made famous (or should that be more infamous?) after the release of Priscilla Queen of the Desert in 1994. While we were in Broken Hill part of the Palace Hotel was being refurbished.

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In addition to the fame from being involved with the film, the hotel is also famous for the inside murals. We were allowed in this area even though the area was being refurbished.

MuralsEntrance area of the hotel.

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Broken Hill in the evening, taken from our balcony.
A very pleasant area after the heat of the day.

The old tailing of the now worked out mines dominates the town, but the man made hill doesn’t take anything away from the town. I found Broken Hill to be an very interesting place and a restful place compared to Sydney. Life is slower, with a strong link to yesteryear. One day we will return.

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

We visited Sachsenhausen concentration camp after meeting our ‘walking’ guide at the Berlin Zoo suburban station. He escorted us to the main Berlin station to catch the train for the fifty minute trip to Oranienburg, which is the nearest station to the camp. On arrival this guide handed us over to a camp guide.

From the railway station to the camp it is a 20-minute walk through the town. As we arrived at the camp local houses where pointed out to us, because they used to be the houses where the camp commander and his senior officers lived.

Our camp guide was a German tour guide, so it was interesting to hear how he explained the various facts of the camp.

He was knowledgeable and overall ‘neutral’ about the history and the various details of what happened in the camp. He did not dwell on the atrocities or make any comments.

At the conclusion of the tour he told us that the camp tour was the hardest tour for any tour guide, because the guides considered it disrespectful to make the normal friendly jokes to help the tourist to feel relaxed.

I studied the build up to World War Two, and the rise of Hitler, at college; so to visit this camp was a very moving experience because it brought to ‘life’ the Nazi era of the late 1930’s.

If you have the time while in Berlin it is a ‘must see’ place just to make sure that the world doesn’t repeat this type of history.

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Work makes you free

The main gate.

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Killing ground if you step off the path
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You have been warned, step in to this area and you will be shot.
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Whipping post remains.

Prisoners were strung up by their wrist and flogged.

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Each shingle base is the remains of a single hut. There were 50 barracks for the prisoners, plus barracks for the guards etc.

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Enlarged pic of the white indicator in the previous picture.

This is the burial ground of the ashes of the victims of the concentration camp. As you see the photo above shows a small wall with stones on the top. The stones were placed there by Jewish visitors in remembrance of the murdered Jews.

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Remains of some of the ovens.
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Closer view of the ovens.

 

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The camp was liberated by the Russians and this shows the monument to them, which is within the camp.

The camp was created in 1936 to house political prisoners, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and a small number of Jews.The Jewish numbers increased greatly later. Thousands of Russian & Polish civilians, and later in 1941, 12,000 Russian prisoners of war were also sent to this camp, most died.

Visiting the camp takes a full day, and is a very sobering experience. I am glad that I had the experience, but I can not comprehend why or how anyone could be so calculating barbaric and inhuman, to another human being.

The photographs above are just a small sample of the many that I took during our visit.