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To want to visit Auschwitz?

(213 Posts)
lottieandmia Sun 29-Jan-17 09:04:46

I feel that it's something we all should do. I've been reading Primo Levi's book and I just can't imagine the level of suffering those people endured.

I mentioned it to an acquaintance and he said 'it's the sort of thing Jewish people do' and basically said I should not go, it would be depressing and there have been lots of other genocides. He has really annoyed me with these sentiments which come across as antisemitic imo.

sonyaya Sun 29-Jan-17 09:09:45

yanbu. It is essential people attend and fully appreciate the horrors.

I am not Jewish and will perhaps stand corrected by those that are, but having visited Sachsenhausen and Auschwitz, it seems to me that a big effort has been made to make them educational, almost like a museum, and to encourage visitors.

Particularly in these troubling times I think it's great that people give a shit about horrors of the past. I don't think by going to Auschwitz you are in any way belittling victims of other genocides.

Brokenbiscuit Sun 29-Jan-17 09:11:12

I would also like to visit, though I think it would be deeply harrowing. We all have a duty to know and understand what happened.

Years ago, I went to Dachau. It was a sobering, thought-provoking experience that has always stuck with me.

I think all of our politicians should be made to visit places like this. We cannot afford to ignore the lessons of history.

ohmygodyouguys Sun 29-Jan-17 09:12:53

I visited Auschwitz during a school trip. It was a bit eerie at times thinking about what had gone on there but at the same time really interesting. Ignore that person and go if you want to.

DrasticAction Sun 29-Jan-17 09:13:46

Strange post op. People visit it all the time, surely if you had real interest in it you would know that.... And not be relying on one friend's opinion? I have met loads of people who have been. But your friend is of course correct in that there have been loads of genocides, right now on news we are hearing of ethnic cleansing in Syria, yadizi genocide, rowhanda etc. Pol pot the list goes on. If you want to go, go.

Dafspunk Sun 29-Jan-17 09:16:08

I would not have chosen to go but went with others and am glad I did. I don't understand the argument that there were other genocides. There are numerous examples of lots of things in life - both good and bad. If we didn't do one because there are others, we'd never do anything.


Ginmakesitallok Sun 29-Jan-17 09:17:38

We went years ago - I'll never forget it. Yes it was harrowing, it made the suffering I'd read about much more real. Go if you want to. We're not jewish- but what happened was a human tragedy not just a Jewish one.

DrasticAction Sun 29-Jan-17 09:20:06

Broken ethnic cleansing is not something just in history hmm it's happening right now. Mass graves of yadizi people are being uncovered, gay people are being chucked off roofs, people are being butchered and slaughtered right now, women are captured and used, sold as six slaves. You don't need to go to camps from past to learn lessons confused it's right here right now.

birdybirdywoofwoof Sun 29-Jan-17 09:21:16

I recently visited some battlefields, cemeteries and trenches of ww1.
I don't have a particularily personal connection, just an interest.
I didn't go there saying 'meh, they've been other wars' either. What does of idiot does that?

BarbarianMum Sun 29-Jan-17 09:23:21

YANBU I've read a lot of accounts of the holocaust (including Promo Levi's) and I feel the same. It somehow seems the very least I can do. Our children are a bit young yet but we are planning a trip when they are teens.

And isn't just relevant to Jewish people, or only visited by them. A lot of Roma, homosexuals, political dissidents, people with learning difficulties were sent there too so it has meaning for a lot of groups, plus of ordinary people who go because that's what the victims were too.

OhhBetty Sun 29-Jan-17 09:23:28

You know yanbu. However, I think saying everyone should visit it is a bit thoughts. Some of us are unable to go for various reasons or simply can't afford to. It doesn't mean we don't want to or that we feel it any less.
Plus it wasn't just Jewish people who died there just to let you know.

OhhBetty Sun 29-Jan-17 09:24:00

Sorry that should say "is a bit thoughtless" not thoughts.

lottieandmia Sun 29-Jan-17 09:24:33

I'm not relying on his opinion. Why do people on here twist stuff?

I think that, for me what is particularly disturbing about the holocaust is the fact that the Nazis were determined to kill every single Jewish person in the world and they very nearly succeeded.

Nataleejah Sun 29-Jan-17 09:25:45

I visited there with my school trip. Grim. Back in the day, i maybe really didn't 'get' it. But now as an adult, i think it should be obliterated and not serve as some tourist attraction.

lottieandmia Sun 29-Jan-17 09:25:44

Yes but most of the victims were Jewish and were murdered only because they were Jewish.

lottieandmia Sun 29-Jan-17 09:26:29

Of course I am not saying that everyone has to go or they're a bad person. That's not what I mean.

Tomorrowillbeachicken Sun 29-Jan-17 09:26:42

YANBU. I visited Theresienstadt concentration camp when I was at school and it was very interesting and left a long impression on me. Even twenty years on I can't remember much about that or other school trips but remember the camp very clearly.

dementedma Sun 29-Jan-17 09:27:22

It is a harrowing and difficult visit,but by all means go.
I was a bit uncomfortable with all the tour groups, people taking photos etc. I felt a bit like a ghoul, as if I was sight seeing rather than paying respects. But it's a powerful place, and not in a good way.

lottieandmia Sun 29-Jan-17 09:27:30

If it's obliterated people will forget what happened there.

It's not a tourist attraction surely.

OhhBetty Sun 29-Jan-17 09:28:49

Oh, not disabled people, gypsies, black people, homosexual people, jehovas witnesses, the very poor etc etc? Yes it was a Jewish tragedy but not only affecting Jewish people.

FourToTheFloor Sun 29-Jan-17 09:29:01

I've been and I do agree it's a worthwhile trip. I went in July and it was so miserable that I remember thinking how bad would winter have felt. It was a very sobering experience.

birdybirdywoofwoof Sun 29-Jan-17 09:30:24

There Is a massive holocaust denying movement and we should obliterate Aushchwitz?

Uh huh cool.

OhhBetty Sun 29-Jan-17 09:30:48

I think you started this thread to be told you're a good person for wanting to go. Why not actually go, then start a thread discussing how you felt with others?

Brokenbiscuit Sun 29-Jan-17 09:32:05

Broken ethnic cleansing is not something just in history

Er, yes I know. That was my point really - that we cannot afford to forget the lessons of history because they are so painfully relevant to today's world. Not sure why the hmmface?

Anasnake Sun 29-Jan-17 09:32:07

I've been several times over the last 15 years (school trips). Its 2 places (originally 3) - Auschwitz and Birkenau which are about a mile apart. Auschwitz I is the main museum. It's very busy, lots of tourist groups, lots of guides. They hurry you through some exhibits as there'll be another group 2 mins behind you. There's one small gas chamber which you are allowed into. Birkenau is much bigger and largely untouched. The 4 gas chambers at Birkenau are ruins but you can still go into some of the barracks. The official tours tend to miss out the sauna (prisoner showers) and Kannada barracks which you have to pay extra for.
What I have noticed over the years though is because of the high number of visitors they have opened more cafes/food kiosks just outside. Some of our pupils were annoyed that other visitors were wandering around Birkenau with ice creams bought from the kiosk in the car park.
You will also see people not being respectful - laughing, joking, taking selfies etc.

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