Auschwitz, Is this true???

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by marcus69x, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    I've heard that if you visit Auschwitz, you 'll never see any birds or other animals around as they never go anywhere near it. maybe they can sense the death that went on there or something.
    Has anybody else heard this or is sombody pulling my leg?
    Probably the latter I think.
  2. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Well I cant speak for Auschwitz but I know tis to be the case in Dachau.
  3. 52nd Airborne

    52nd Airborne Green Jacket Brat

    I visited Auschwitz/Birkenau while on a stag weekend in Krakow in 2005. There is an deathly silence at Birkenau, I didn't notice it so much at Auschwitz owing to large amount of people visiting.

    It was all very moving and something the stag party remember more than the other things we got up to.
  4. Rich

    Rich Member

    I had a friend who visited Auschwitz about ten years ago; he was not into military matters, but was inter-railing round Europe with friends and one day they saw a sign saying they were 10km from it, so decided to visit.

    He told me that he was struck by how quiet and lifeless it seemed, no birds in the trees whatsoever, etc.

    My brother and wife went there 2 years ago, but did not make the same observation, perhaps they did just not pick up on it like my friend had.
  5. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    My father visited Belsen in the 70's with the Life Guards. he said there were no birds or insects there and he was told animals did not come close.
    Seems the stench of death still hangs over these sites.
  6. Gibbo

    Gibbo Senior Member

    Before I visited Dachau I'd heard about the silence & absence of wildlife so I was very surprised that not only did I hear birds singing but I saw a blackbird near the crematorium.
  7. Panzerfaust

    Panzerfaust Senior Member

    This very subject came up when Elie Wiesel went with Oprah to Auschwitz, the landscape looked very dull and lifeless.
  8. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    I suppose it's just the fact that we all expect a certain atmosphere at the concentration camps and so when we fail to hear a bird song we pick up on that quickly.
  9. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    Oh well I guess it's true then.


    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    When I visited Auschwitz in 1991 there was certainly animal(and bird) life in existance there - even got followed by a cat for a short while (and I HATE cats - there was very nearly another killing on that site!!!)

    I think it's just a case of how the human brain works wether or not you recall seeing something (selective memory, etc). for example , my wife gets creeped on Kemmel Hill in Belgium and swears blind that she's never heard or seen any birds there (she's walked up and around it 11 or 12 times), whereas I see and hear them every time I climb it.

  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Dunno about Auschwitz but it's Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend and there's no birds in my garden.
    As an occassional birder I can't see any reason for there to be no birds to be there .
    As commented on hear it's the way the human brain works.
    Until I became a birder 10 years ago I didn't "see" birds anywhere.
    Now I even kept an ear out whilst watching "Come and See" amongst all the horror in that film I heard Great Snipe.
    You hear what you want to hear.
  12. BulgarianSoldier

    BulgarianSoldier Senior Member

    Its just myths, im to old to balive in myths.

    Usualy birds are moving in diferent logation due to the diferent wind, we cant see but there are something like tornados in the wind that make the birds fly without moving there wings.Usualy they arn't moving in locations with a lot of people exept the normal birds that we see all day.
    Im a hunter by the way so i know somethings about the wild animles..
  13. Wise1

    Wise1 There We Are Then

    Cant say that any time I have been over I have noticed either way what the birds were doing. As Owen says though, you hear what you want to hear.
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Had a few comments added on Birdforum about this.

    Birds at Auschwitz ? - BirdForum

    I was about five or six time in Auschwitz in the past time, in different seasons. And I remember that I saw different tits, chaffinches, different sp. of corvides and buntings.

    Went there a couple of years ago at New Year when there was several feet of snow onthe ground. I had heard the rumours of there being no bird sound but there was birds (seen and heard) around ( Great Tit, GSW, Cormorants, Corvids) including old House Martin nests on the barracks there. Even saw a group of Roe Deer at Birkenau

    Similar site also has birds.
    Just outside Vilnius, there is the nearest equivalent that Lithuania has to Auschwitz. At this single spot, set in pine forests, about 100,000 Jews were shot and burned. The pits where the executions and burnings took place are still visible. However, though peaceful enough the place is, go there in the spring and it is as alive with birds as any other bit of forest. Only been there perhaps twice, but I remember Golden Oriole, Pied Flycatcher and Wood Warbler

    So Marcus to answer your question.
  16. morse1001

    morse1001 Very Senior Member

    My brother visited dachau back in the eighties and he said that he heard no birds
  17. stevew

    stevew Senior Member

    I visited Dachau a few years a ago, and didn't notice the lack of birdsong, but there aren't too many trees around.

    I have heard similar things about the Western Front. for example Delville Wood seems really quiet, but if you stop and listen there are birds singing.

    I think it's just an urban myth - Owen summed it up you hear what you want to hear
  18. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I have never visited any of the former Concentration Camps but I would think that it would be most unusual not to feel emotionally affected, both by the actual surroundings and one's own knowledge of the history of the sites.

    The nearest I have come to being affected by my surroundings was when in June '44 I first visited the Colisseum in Rome. As I recorded later:

    "After a short while I slipped away to visit the cells underneath the arena where the slaves and early Christians were held prior to the games and their subsequent death.
    I have never considered myself to be significantly claustrophobic but the atmosphere in the dank shaded quarters felt unbearably evil and I was glad to get back out into the sun and the heat."
  19. KriegsmarineFreak

    KriegsmarineFreak Senior Member

    Is is interesting in Holocaust accounts how inmates sometimes talk about the dull atmosphere, the beautiful lanscape around them and maybe even a nearby bird. I guess it just depends on the person who goes there, on what they'll hear or not. I, myself, have never been to any of the infamous concentration camps.
  20. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    There is a place where no birds sing. A place that still oozes horror, and evil seems to hang on the ivy covered walls of that long deserted place.
    Orador sur Glan... Where the das Reich SS Panzer Div shot every man in the town put the bodies inthe houses gathered the women and children in the church and then burned them alive, with SS Grenadiers outside ready to cut down any that escaped from the Church windows.

    Then they burned the little town to the ground.

    That place has been left just as it was 63 years ago. The French dont like going there, they built a new town a short distance away.

    It was a revenge atrocity. Even then they got the wrong place.
    Anyone been to Orador? I would like to know what they feel about the place? sadly that was not the only savage atrocity on the way North to Normandy.

    It is with some pride and satisfaction to me, that Das Reich was caught in the Falaise Pocket and subjected to a slaughtering barrage over open sights.
    281664 and britman like this.

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