A visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by The Aviator, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. GrossBorn

    GrossBorn Junior Member

    My visit to Auschwitz haunts me to this day...the room of suitcases, the display of eyeglasses and most haunting...photos lining the wall in one building. These were head shots of the inmate with heads shaved. Their eyes just stared at me and every now and again when I go to sleep, those images creep into my conscience. Since I became a father, the thoughts of Auschwitz seem to be amplified. I just cannot fathom the inhumanity and evil of the Nazis that killed innocent children.
  2. read46

    read46 Junior Member

    My ex wifes father was Polish, originally coming from a small village near Rybnik (Silesia). He was initially conscripted into the German army and served on the French Atlantic coast then was captured in Italy and eventually joined the Polish Army. He, like many Poles, never returned but kept in touch with his family.
    He died in 1986 and we decided to visit my wifes relations during the summer of 1987.
    We drove through Germany, then into what was then East Germany and through to Poland, quite an adventure then.
    During our stay, which was really quite wonderful, we told our hosts that we would like to visit Auschwitz which is not too far from the village.
    Rather reluctantly they agreed to take us.
    My sons who were 7 and 10 at the time came too.
    I was glad I went and I'm not sorry I took my boys, it didn't harm them and they can talk about it now with some first hand knowledge.
    The reason for their reluctance? I don't know? However their home backed onto the railway line that lead to the camp(s) and later during our stay we were told that of course they knew what was happening all those years ago. One elderly relative told us of looking out of her window and seeing the trains go past.
    I took time to go outside myself and spent a few moments looking along the railway line with my thoughts.
  3. Saracen

    Saracen Junior Member

    When I served in Celle, It was strongly recommended that all newbie’s to the Regiment should visit Belsen.
    It is also engraved a picture in my mind I can clearly see after 30+ years. All there is a walled mount with an engraving saying an approximate number of Jewish people are buried there. The lowest number I saw on the engraving was approximately 6000.
    And although this isn’t the thread for it I feel that if the Moslems get there way of eliminating the infidels we will see the same thing happening again.
    It must never happen again to any race or culture, and its about time the United Nations became United.
    Rant over
  4. I envy all of you who've had the opportunity to visit Auschwitz, Dachau and Belsen. I doubt I'll ever get the chance myself. Perhaps it's for the best. I'm a sensitive sort and I have little doubt that I would cry like a baby and become very depressed.
    A too the Poles attitude, I agree with the proximity concept (many native New Yorkers have never been in the Statue or the top of Empire Bldg.
    However I also think it is natural to avoid the associations to such horrific memories right in your front yard. As to the lack of birds. Far more perception then an actual phoenomen. Birds, especially crows do not avoid death. Much like the whole myth about the full moon.
  5. chipmunk wallah

    chipmunk wallah Senior Member

    "......I'm told that only foriegn vistors to Poland are interested.......few if any Polish people visit the site.....not quite sure why, it's somethign my Aunty told me after 5 visits and a Polish husband!"
    That,Im afraid is total BS. All Polish school kids at 15 are taken to visit Auschwitz,Dont Forget,The origional Auschwitz I(stammlager) was built to hold non Jewish Poles,and for 2 years these people were its main victims.
    As for birds singing,Yep,went in a March and heard plenty of birds.
    Personaly the most haunting part for me was a tiny pair of red sandles just like my little girl used to wear.
    A trip there can have the effect of making one incredably intolerent of,well,intolerence.Where as prior to my visit I could shut some comments and attitudes out since I can never keep quiet.
  6. Zoya

    Zoya Partisan

    There is a display cabinet of babies' clothes, as well as children's shoes :( It was the bundles of hair...more hair than you can imagine, which got to me, sometimes whole plaits/braids still fastened at the end. And that was only a portion of it kept for the museum...and the felt cloth they wove from it...

    Attached Files:

  7. razmak

    razmak Junior Member

    I would like to visit Aushwitz same time in the future. I went to Breendonk in Belgium last year on a University trip and it really brought home the horrors of Nazism.
  8. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau three years ago and would definately like to go back again. I would certainly say it is a place I will return to.

    For me Auschwitz one was not the place which made the impression it was the Birkenau site - the real engine of death and slavery that which eclipsed anything which had gone befoe.

    The walk up to the Krema 2 and 3 units the same path walked by so many , that haunting image of the old lady and the children walking unknowingly to their deaths in the shadow of a barbed wire fence.

    For me there was just not enough time - I wanted to be able to spend more time orientating myself up around Kremas 4 and 5 , the female side of the camp I didn't see at all.

    I find it quite sickening that this place of horror and suffering has become the focus for the revisionist / denial movement .
    ( It was their retoric and lame dog excuses which made me want to visit , and having seen it I am more disgusted to think of the likes of Zundel , Leuchter , Irving , Rudolf , Toben etc who have visited the camp with a view to distoring and telling outright lies about what happened there.)

    Although I would certainly not deny the sufferring of the Jewish people who passed through the camp and were enslaved and murdered there it is fitting that all who came to the camp are remembered .
    I say this because those who deny the Holocaust seem to require it to be focused on the Jews alone and to exclude the other racial groups who were earmarked for death and exploitation.

    It is simply a terrible place symbolic of the very worst of what we as a species are capaible of orchestrating.

    Anyone going there , try and get a copy of a book called "The Auschwitz Album" before you go .(Yad Vashem , the Anne Frank Huis do it by mail order or simply through Amazon) - it will put the camp into context for any who are unfamilure with it.
    ( The BBC series on the camp and its history is even better).

    The undressing room of Krema unit number 3, the figure in the background is my youngest them 13.

    The Birchwood , here many waited unaware that they waited for death.

    Opposite Krema units 4/5 wre the death were burned in the open such was the slaughter of the summer of 1944 that the crematoriums could not keep pace.
    Here to people were made to strip in the open before being forced to their deaths , the human race can at times fill you with disgust.


    A close up of one of the memorial stones.

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