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Thread: Is it right to treat Auschwitz as a Tourist Destination?

  1. #31
    International Coach HeathDavisSpeed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matteh View Post
    The former Communist Bloc is inifitely cheaper and more interesting than the rest of Europe though.
    I'm certainly more curious about places that it was pretty much impossible to visit when I was young.
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    International Coach Pothas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matteh View Post
    The former Communist Bloc is inifitely cheaper and more interesting than the rest of Europe though.
    You been to any of these Stalinist styled 'theme parks'?

    Would like to visit eastern Europe and Russia at somepoint, might be able to next year once I am done studying have hopefully earnt some money.

  3. #33
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Matteh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pothas View Post
    You been to any of these Stalinist styled 'theme parks'?

    Would like to visit eastern Europe and Russia at somepoint, might be able to next year once I am done studying have hopefully earnt some money.
    I have not. They've tried to do a number one pretty much all Soviet related things in Riga, bar the Soviet Victory Monument, one statue that looks Russian but I have no idea of its purpose and the standard Eastern Bloc TV Tower.

    Definitely recommend it, everything's done in a similar way to the West (there's a cathedral, there's a theatre etc.) but at the same time their take on it is hugely different and interesting.
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  4. #34
    International Coach Pothas's Avatar
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    Will try and make a visit in the next couple of years.

    This was the park I was referring to Stalin Park
    Crazy stuff.
    Last edited by Pothas; 26-04-2010 at 12:59 PM.


  5. #35
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    Touring the former communist states is something I'd like to do as well. CW Road Trip!
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Of Coco View Post
    I think there were more people at Aushwitz than Birkenau when I went. I spent a lot of time at the Auschwitz camp though and got over to Birkenau a little late in the afternoon. Everyone was very respectful. There were a lot of school kids from Israel there when I visited and some of them were pretty upset. Probably the most harrowing part for me was seeing huge pile of shoes leftover from people who were at the camp as well as the suitcases with people's names on them. The basement-level punishment area was horrible too.

    Turns out the day after I was there was a memorial march for the survivors of the camps. I was very tempted to go back again as seeing people who had survived those camps would have been quite an experience.
    Wasn't quite what I meant, probably should have given my example...

    Auschwitz I, the camp with the famous gate bearing the 'Arbeit Macht Frei' message, horribly, doesn't seem to be that bad when you first get inside. Lots of neat wee brick houses, some greenery and trees - it betrays its history as a Polish army barracks and in a different life might actually have been a pleasant place to stay - walking round you can almost picture it as a holiday camp, which makes it intensely difficult to appreciate the suffering of those who passed through the gates. It's only when you reach Block 11, with its torture cells and concrete execution wall outside, that you start to feel a sense of horror. The piles of shoes and suitcases which are exhibited are intensely harrowing, as is the restored gas chamber and crematorium, but I found that I left Auschwitz I with a sense of "well, that wasn't so bad..."

    Auschwitz II Birkenau on the other hand, completely and utterly ****ed with my head. The place is absolutely massive - when you enter along the railway track under the death gate, it seems like literally all you can see is chimneys. The woods where families waited around to die are just a tiny line on the horizon. Those wooden huts that remained standing after the Nazis attempted to destroy the evidence of their crimes before retreating from the advancing Soviets tell the story of the inhumane treatment the prisoners endured if they weren't selected for death immediately upon disembarking. There's an eerie stillness to the site as well, there's no birds or anything, the place seems horribly peaceful.

    Even though you get a sense of the horrors that occured there from touring Auschwitz I, it doesn't prepare you for the monument to the horrors of humanity that is Auschwitz II.

    That's why I asked the question, to see if anyone else had similar impressions of how the 2 sites differed - a couple of the Australian boys I worked with last year who'd toured Europe said more or less the exact same thing, which I found weird.
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  7. #37
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Furball's Avatar
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    Auschwitz I:







    Auschwitz II Birkenau:






  8. #38
    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerFurball View Post
    Wasn't quite what I meant, probably should have given my example...

    Auschwitz I, the camp with the famous gate bearing the 'Arbeit Macht Frei' message, horribly, doesn't seem to be that bad when you first get inside. Lots of neat wee brick houses, some greenery and trees - it betrays its history as a Polish army barracks and in a different life might actually have been a pleasant place to stay - walking round you can almost picture it as a holiday camp, which makes it intensely difficult to appreciate the suffering of those who passed through the gates. It's only when you reach Block 11, with its torture cells and concrete execution wall outside, that you start to feel a sense of horror. The piles of shoes and suitcases which are exhibited are intensely harrowing, as is the restored gas chamber and crematorium, but I found that I left Auschwitz I with a sense of "well, that wasn't so bad..."

    Auschwitz II Birkenau on the other hand, completely and utterly ****ed with my head. The place is absolutely massive - when you enter along the railway track under the death gate, it seems like literally all you can see is chimneys. The woods where families waited around to die are just a tiny line on the horizon. Those wooden huts that remained standing after the Nazis attempted to destroy the evidence of their crimes before retreating from the advancing Soviets tell the story of the inhumane treatment the prisoners endured if they weren't selected for death immediately upon disembarking. There's an eerie stillness to the site as well, there's no birds or anything, the place seems horribly peaceful.

    Even though you get a sense of the horrors that occured there from touring Auschwitz I, it doesn't prepare you for the monument to the horrors of humanity that is Auschwitz II.

    That's why I asked the question, to see if anyone else had similar impressions of how the 2 sites differed - a couple of the Australian boys I worked with last year who'd toured Europe said more or less the exact same thing, which I found weird.
    Yeah I found Birkenau more harrowing too. It was so quiet when I was there, wandering into the huts that are left felt really eerie as you were alone in the silence. I'll post some pics too when I can.
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  9. #39
    International Coach GotSpin's Avatar
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    What does 'Arbeit Macht Frei' mean?
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  10. #40
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend andyc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Got_Spin View Post
    What does 'Arbeit Macht Frei' mean?
    "Work makes you free," according to Wiki.
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  11. #41
    International Captain cover drive man's Avatar
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    I would really like (well, maybe "like" is the wrong word) to go there. I think it would be interesting as well as a good reminder of the evil done by people who were seen as almost gods by their people. But I suppose the real question is about what context we use it as a tourist destination. I wouldn't like to see people make a profit out of it, and I certainly wouldn't want to see people using it as a fun day out. A respectful museum would be fine to me though.
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  12. #42
    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Auschwitz









    Birkenau







    Schindler's Office



    Majdanek Concentration Camp




  13. #43
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Wish you'd post spoiler tags next time. Now I won't go.
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  14. #44
    Hall of Fame Member Smudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Wish you'd post spoiler tags next time. Now I won't go.
    Tbf, he didn't tell us what happened in the end.

  15. #45
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Matteh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voltman View Post
    Tbf, he didn't tell us what happened in the end.
    Think the last picture pretty much gives it away.

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