Natzweiler-Struthof

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by Gage, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Oggie2620

    Oggie2620 Senior Member

    Fab photos will have to search to see if they have a website... Am going to post a link on my other ww2 forum as they think it might be interesting. Must have been an eery experience. They have made a good job of a memorial/reminder.
    Dee
     
  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    GS59

    Thank you.

    Lest we forget

    Ron
     
  3. Marco

    Marco Senior Member

  4. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    GS59 - Thanks for posting.

    We won't forget.:poppy:

    Rob
     
  5. GS59

    GS59 Member

    One of the things that is difficut to understand for us, probably because our subconscious is terribly filled with a vision created by bad movies (often a Hollywood view, sorry) is the commonplace aspect of camps. Look at this gas chamber, almost common...like a bathroom...
    My wife's father for example, was imprisoned in a kind of hotel with an open-air dance hall which had nothing common with the concentration camps imagined by the cinema.
    He had a kind of payslip on which German deducted its expenses of pension and food (cynic, isn't it?) At the end, he had enough to drink a beer.
    He could move freely of his workplace in this hotel or to the town.
    He was moved according to the needs of the industry in differents places of Germany and remembers Erfurt, prisoners in ''striped suits'' who came from Buchenwald...
    He had a complicated route as Mosellan and also stayed in the R.A.D (I have his soldbuch)
    Naturally for certain categories of persons, Jews in particular, things were very different...
     
  6. 17thDYRCH

    17thDYRCH Senior Member Patron

    Georges,

    Excellent post. I had no idea that such a camp existed in France.

    :poppy: Lest We Forget :poppy:

    Randy
     
  7. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Thanks for a post that reminds us of mans inhumanity - Lest We Forget
     
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Saw we had 3 threads on same camp, thought I'd merge them.
     
  9. toms girl

    toms girl New Member

    We went a few years ago it was very emotional walking round and seeing the views of the mountains and freedom the inmates could see. The chambers they used to burn the bodies if you look behind them you can see the pipe work, they were used to heat the officers quarters and heat the water, so shocking. The other thing that brought it home about this place was a little girl of about 2 years old stopping walking and asking her mother for a cuddle, this really pulled at my heart strings when a child of that age can feel the evil in that place. Well worth a visit.
     
  10. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    First time I've seen this thread. No words.
     
  11. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Junior Member

    I have been fortunate to have been in this area several times but have never heard of Struthof. . This thread is an eye opener. I would surely have visited. I use to accompany American architecture students on a Studies Abroad program and "invited" them to accompany me to such camps as it was my believe young students need to be exposed to the horrendous evil well educated people are capable of committing. Some did not want to go, some parents complained, but those that did certainly benefited. We cannot hide from things we do not like. I feel remiss for missing this opportunity to pay respects to those that died or even survived there.

    Dachau was a strong example for my purposes but I discovered Terezin/Terezinstadt on the Czech-German border and took them there as well. It was the so called model or show camp, the Red Cross visited several times. I highly recommend visiting it if one is near Prague. It was part of early border fortifications and is very well preserved. There is the camp -prison and just outside a newly constructed village for the guards and there families who lived fairly normal lives just yards away . Looking at one of the officer quarters I imagined one getting up to go to work, having breakfast, kissing the wife and children good by then going a 100 meters to work to plan the processing, disposition, and death of men , women and children. !0,000 people are buried there, it does have a small crematorium, but most were sent to a more efficient death camp. Apparently to keep this one tidy for the Swiss RC.

    This most moving thing I have ever seen is an exhibit there of art work done by children. They were taught by a young Jewish women whom had studied art at the famous Bauhaus but ended up in Terezin. She taught children passing through the camp to draw , paint and write rather poetically. On the walls were rows of work, framed, with a photo of each child, a picture they had drawn or painted, a short writing of theirs, the day they entered Terezin and the day they were killed, all before the war ended. Carefully kept records of terrible things. Three suitcases of the work and records were found in suitcases after liberation. I cannot saw I felt like crying, I did cry. So many children making their art and words then being killed.

    This exhibit was eventually moved to the Jewish Museum in Prague for more exposure but I wish they had left it at Terezin, it is more touching there.

    I may not make it back to Alsace but if I do I will definitely go to Struthof. It takes a bit of your soul and that is as it should be. Just a few kilometers north at Niderborrn-les-Bains is a German Military Cemetery , also in France, where the Wehmacht buried their dead, 14,000 of them. I also visited there, thousands of young men fighting for a terrible cause but I cannot help feeling for all regular soldiers that die far too young in the invariable horror we call war.

    Gaines
     
    Capt.Sensible and Jonathan Ball like this.

Share This Page