True Respect at Auschwitz

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by ww2ni, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    I was there a few days ago and am aware of a local publication slagging off the food venders at the car park.

    This is surprising when my tour guide had mentioned to us about using them.

    The site is off the beaten track and as such there is a place for such vendors and to be truthful, alough I did not use them, I can understand why they are there.

    I have no problem with them as they are well away from the complex.


    What I DO feel annoyed about is the disrespect shown by some of the visitors.

    A man on the same trip as I, about 50 years old, was wearing running shorts, a T-Shirt and pair of training shoes. I felt this was very disrespectful to the place and totally inappropriate.

    Surely there must be some sort of Code of Conduct?

    It seems obvious to me that there are lots of visitors who are simply going there as it it was Disneyland or some other tourist venue.

    I hope this can be resolved.
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    You would expect and hope that common courtesy prevails and that on the whole 99.9% of people show the levels required.
  3. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    Why should T-shirt and shorts be a sign of disrespect?
  4. Fireman

    Fireman Discharged

    I don't think people who dress casually are showing disrespect intentionally. That they are doing so in the minds of many people, mine included just reflects todays standards. The level of indugence in society is quite astounding with self discipline and a sense of respect for others down on the bottom rung. Children often think it is their 'right' to behave as they wish as do many adults. They in turn are indulged by our politicians, no hope I'm afraid.

    You have probably seen the 'dancing' video? What could be worse? Some moron will propose a concert in a camp next. The world has changed and in many respects not for the better..
  5. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    How hot was the day?

    I for myself normally dress like a car mechanic, my jeans are normally so dirty that when I take them off they keep standing on their own :D however when last Sunday I went to that graveyard I took the trouble to put on proper clothes. I did this because I could, but would I force a tourist to bring a suit and necktie with him? Let's be practical. Respect is in the attitude, not in the clothes.

    The Finns say that in the sauna behave as in church. They don't wear even a t-shirt in a sauna.
  6. Fireman

    Fireman Discharged

    Not wishing in any way to start an argument but I think as a tourist you know where and what you are going to visit and should dress appropriately. I agree completely that respect is in your attitude but isn't how you dress reflecting that?
  7. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    [...] should dress appropriately.
    And what would the appropriate dress for Auschwitz/Birkenau be, in your opinion?
  8. TomTAS

    TomTAS Very Senior Member

    Hi All,

    When I wentn there trust me no one was in t shirt and shorts to cold for that.. And for the place well if you have not seen it do so its a place your not forget for some time..
    And for above the same can be said for reactors in Cemeteries I don't see the point of that at all...

  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Was there an offensive slogan or picture on the t-shirt?
  10. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    My entire 'wardrobe' consists of T-shirts, shorts, flowery Hawaiian shirts and 'combat trousers'.
    I own not a single Tie, suit etc. I have absolutely no wish to.

    Am I not allowed to visit Auschwitz then?
    Owen likes this.
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Many a cemetery and battle site I've visited in Northern France in shorts and t-shirt. Infact the last trip I was wearing cut down American camo trousers and a bright red t-shirt. See here:

    I think I was the first person (and probably the last to date) to place a cross on each of those ships in 70 years and proud to say I've told a little bit of their story.

    I appreciate your sentiments but it really is a case of 'Don't judge a book by its cover'. I'm just happy to hear people are visiting and remembering.

    von Poop and Owen like this.
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  13. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    I went to Dachau and I was in T-Shirts and Trainers. I maintained a dignified silence whilst there and no-one even looked askew at me. Its not what you are wearing, its how you behave thats important.
    Heimbrent likes this.
  14. arkrite

    arkrite Senior Member

    "Its not what you are wearing, its how you behave thats important."quote GH.

    I agree with this sentiment. Time moves on and attitudes change.Grief is now regarded in a more personal way. I have attended funerals where the black minidresses have been truly eye watering.Dress codes are differant if not none existant today.The Death Camps are marketed as tourist sites,just how much do todays visitors comprehend the suffering that went on.Yes they have heard the tourist guide blurb but how many can picture it in their minds eye ?

    I am pleased that people take time to visit these places and they have not become forgotten or purposley shunned. Come as you are but act with respect in memory of those abused so shamefully by their fellow man and make a promise to prevent it ever happening again.
  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    The Death Camps are marketed as tourist sites,just how much do todays visitors comprehend the suffering that went on.Yes they have heard the tourist guide blurb but how many can picture it in their minds eye ?
    one of my manager's at work went on a stag do to Krakow not long ago.
    While there they 'did' Auschwitz.
    I can tell you it really hit home, it wasn't just a tourist tick.
    It really moved them all.
    Same as it did for my cousin last year when he went to Speedway World Cup, he & his mate popped down there afterwards.
    They were both moved by the place.

    I've not been yet, I planned to in years ago but never got there.

    I will say what does 'bug' me about photos of Auschwitz visitors that I've seen,
    the amount of Israeli flag waving that goes on.


  16. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

    Whilst I've not yet been to visit the Memorial I was interested to read about Dress codes or lack there of.
    My grandmother died when I was 6 and in those days children weren't taken to funerals. My mother would never really talk about it and I had never been to see the grave despite it being literally just down the road in the local cemetry. My mother would never tell me where it was.
    However recently my cousin and I decided we would look for it as my uncle in Canada (her son) wanted to pay to have it restored and wanted us to take some before and after pics. Despite it being mid February I dressed really smartly, nice trousers, decent boots etc. Why? because I felt it showed respect and it was my chance to brings some flowers some 40 years after the funeral.
    The grave has now been restored and you can actually read the name and we plan to go again soon.
  17. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    I will say what does annoy me about photos of Auschwitz visitors that I've seen,
    the amount of Israeli flag waving that goes on.

    Might one respectfully enquire why this should annoy you ?

    Israel still remains the only country that guarantees admission to Jewish refugees from anywhere in the world and the Israeli flag is very much a symbol of that fact.

    As someone who had previously registered his disgust at the "Dancing at Auschwitz" episode may I say, purely for the record, that I am more than happy to see the flag of Israel displayed in this manner.

    Best regards

  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Ron, after posting the word 'annoy' I thought that was too strong a word, 'bug' is more like it.
    I can't see a point in flag waving there.
    As Israel didn't even exist when the holocaust was ongoing it's bringing a modern political symbol to an historic site.
    I'm not gay but I think I might take a rainbow gay pride flag when I go.
    Afterall they died there too.

    UK Gay News - A Bird Sang at Auschwitz As Gays Remembered Holocaust Victims
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  19. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    My view is simple. Would you attend a funeral in T-Shirt and shorts?? I would think not.

    Visitors are not permittedto take photographs inside the buildings because of the things which took place there and yet i saw people who, in my opinion, were visiting this 'Tourist Attraction' as they would Disneyland or Seaworld.

    The publication I mentioned which slates the food vendors outside asks when will we see a Bar Mitzva!!

    I have contacted the Controller at Auschwitz and gave her my opinion.

    I have no intention of being a killjoy however I feel that in this place dignity must be maintained.
  20. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    Personally I don't think there is anything wrong with it. As has already been said, as long as people are still visiting and remembering, that is the main thing.

    What you have to remember is that people who go there are generally on holiday, doing other things besides visiting the camp, and if the weather is hot, of course they're gonna be wearing shorts and a t-shirt.

    There will always be visitors who are naive to what went on and will act as if they're in Disney World, but I would like to think they are the minority.

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