I decided to share my most terrible experience from Poland with my readers, in order to arise the warning regarding the pick pockets in the crowded places, especially museums and touristic sights.
If you happened to follow my blog you probably already know how my boyfriend and me booked the tour through Viator to visit the Former German Concentration camps Auschwitz and Bikenau and the Wieliczka Salt Mine. It was one whole day tour to visit all these destinations.
The last spot we visited at the Birkenau was the brick barrack where the prisoners were kept. This experience was very emotional for me. As I already explained in my previous blog post I was very upset when I went out of this place.
I am usually very careful at crowded places, but this tame all I could think about was the pictures I saw at the Auschwitz museum and this terrible barrack. I felt like I just walked into the grave and I went out. So while we were walking toward our bus on the road that leads to the parking, I noticed that the road was busy, but my mind was still there in that barrack unfortunately and I was not cautious regarding my personal belongings as usual.
Some people were walking in the same direction with us towards the bus parking, and some others were walking towards the camp in the opposite direction.
Somewhere in the middle of the road I took a cigarette from my bag in order to smoke one on the way before we reach the bus, since in the camp ground smoking was forbidden and I just needed a cigarette.
I remember very well how I put my cigarette box and lighter back into my purse, and how I closed the zipper. We continued slowly towards the bus parking. Suddenly I saw a young man in front of me who was wearing a blue shirt with a quite big Hugo Boss label on his back.
My boyfriend and me commented on this quietly, since our tour guide just few minutes ago mentioned some of the companies like Bayer and Hugo Boss and how they were big supporters of Hitler and Third Reich. Hugo Boss actually designed and made the uniforms for the SS officers during the WW II. Our guide said they also used the prisoners from concentration camps as labors in their factories during the war.
We were kind of wondering why this boy decided to wear this shirt in a such of place. We were wondering if he did it on purpose or he was just unfamiliar with the fact regarding the Hugo Boss brand and its WWII operations. I almost laughed and I said to my boyfriend that the boy probably didn’t know about this, and maybe this was the best shirt he had. So I decided to take a photo of the boy in the blue Hugo Boss shirt.
I intended to mention this in some of my blog posts. I couldn’t imagine back then, when I took that photo what the title of this blog post will be, unfortunately. As you can see on these photos the road was quite busy at the time. Right and left from the road were fields of wheat.
We finally reached the bus where the driver was sharing the lunch boxes to the passengers. I went inside of the bus, to drop my jacket and my purse on the seat so I could be more comfortable to eat. And just then I realized that someone opened my purse zipper and that my wallet, my cigarettes and the bag for my glasses were missing from my purse.
I was totally shocked. We went all the way back again hopping that I might dropped my belongings and that were not stolen.
Unfortunately we didn’t find anything. I talked with the security guards, they showed me the surveillance cameras video. The cameras were capturing only the area around the camp entrance, they couldn’t reach the road unfortunately. So if you ever happen to visit this place be aware of this.
I believe that someone probably opened my purse zipper, put his hand inside and took out everything he could. Probably at the same moment I was busy with taking photos of the boy in the blue Hugo Boss shirt. I am sure that later on the thief just took the cash from my wallet and he threw the rest in the fields or in some garbage bin at the parking.
I asked the driver what to do. He said that I can visit the police station in Krakow the next day to report it, but he doesn’t believe that I can achieve anything by this anyway. He also said that this was the fist time something like this happened to one of his passengers. Maybe he lied, maybe not. I think he said this because he was afraid that I could accused him of hiding the danger from us and for not warning us to watch after our stuff around the camp.
Of course the first thing I did was to call my bank and block my bank card. I was so sad and despaired I couldn’t stop the tears. Not only because I had a lot of cash in my wallet, but also I knew that it is not going to be an easy job to take new documents allover again. The fact that a stranger is now in possession of my personal documents gave me the chills. You never know if somebody is going to use them in some way and get me in trouble one day.
I don’t know why I was so stupid to carry with me all the money and all those documents in my wallet on my touristic trip. Especially for sure I wasn’t going to need my driving licence and the traffic permit for my motorbike. I should take them out of my wallet before the trip, but it is to late now. At least I can share my experience through my blog so others can learn from my mistakes. My health insurance card, and a lot of other documents, such as club member cards, etc. was lost. I can not even remember what I had in it. I was completely shocked, sad and disappointed with myself and how could I be so stupid and careless.
Later on when we came back to our apartment I called my mom in Greece to inform her about what happened to me. I asked her to go at the police station there and to try to report that my Greek documents were stolen. Unfortunately the officer told her that this can be done only by me personally. He advised my mom that I should definitely go to the police station in Poland and report it and later on take a proof that I had reported it.
He said that this paper will make the process of picking up my new documents much faster and that I could have new documents within a week, after applying. In the case I did not had this paper with the reported date of the loss, I would have to wait more than three weeks. Because this is how the procedure in Greece works. They do this, because they have to wait by the law certain time in the case that documents might be founded.
It was already late in the evening, so I decided to follow the Greek police officer advice and go to the Krakow police station first thing in the morning. If you wish to find out all about my adventure at the Krakow police station please stay tuned and check my next blog posts.