Have you been POW/Concentration/Death camp? Watch

DouglasAdams
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
As a visitor, obviously (to one no longer in use).
Don't know why this occurred to me, but was interested in how many people have been to one. And if you have, why you decided to go?

Sorry the title should read 'been to'; typed too quickly.
0
reply
Drewski
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
Yes. Well, sort of.

I've visited the hospital built for German soldiers by Russian POWs on Jersey during the island's occupation. Chilling place. When the exhausted and starved Russians collapsed and died they were simply concreted into the walls and foundations.
0
reply
the bear
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#3
Report 4 years ago
#3
there are still plenty of POW camps in this country. the prisoners were treated far better than in Germany. many decided to stay on and married English ladies. i do not think many of our guys stayed on in Germany after the war.
0
reply
Octohedral
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#4
Report 4 years ago
#4
No, but my Dad takes groups of students to Auschwitz every year. I've seen Oradour Sur Glane, which is not a POW camp, but has the same kind of macabre fascination.

I think most people go because it's a physical connection to something they can't even conceive of, but that is so close to human nature, and only just under the surface of civilisation. It turns it from 'those nasty Germans' into 'this is us'. We've all seen the kinds of behaviour that under different political and economic situations could lead to dehumanisation of a population - the existence of the BNP and the 'I hate dem muslamists' crowd, but also a certain type of chilling efficiency with which human lives can be reduced to numbers.

The Final Solution was decided by men in suits in a board room. Going from reading a history book to seeing the physical block where somebody was forced to sleep before being killed just brings home the fact that in another life your manager at work could quite easily be a mass murderer.
2
reply
DouglasAdams
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#5
(Original post by Octohedral)
No, but my Dad takes groups of students to Auschwitz every year. I've seen Oradour Sur Glane, which is not a POW camp, but has the same kind of macabre fascination.

I think most people go because it's a physical connection to something they can't even conceive of, but that is so close to human nature, and only just under the surface of civilisation. It turns it from 'those nasty Germans' into 'this is us'. We've all seen the kinds of behaviour that under different political and economic situations could lead to dehumanisation of a population - the existence of the BNP and the 'I hate dem muslamists' crowd, but also a certain type of chilling efficiency with which human lives can be reduced to numbers.

The Final Solution was decided by men in suits in a board room. Going from reading a history book to seeing the physical block where somebody was forced to sleep before being killed just brings home the fact that in another life your manager at work could quite easily be a mass murderer.
Rather excellently put, if I may comment so.
Out of interest, what caused your dad to do such a job? I can imagine it rather difficult to visit a place of death, year in year out.
0
reply
contradicta
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#6
Report 4 years ago
#6
Yes, I live on the Isle of Man. Most of the capital, Douglas was used as a POW camp in WW2.
0
reply
PsychadelicScarf
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#7
Report 4 years ago
#7
I don't think I could - I went to Beth Shalom and broke down there.
0
reply
DouglasAdams
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#8
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#8
(Original post by PsychadelicScarf)
I don't think I could - I went to Beth Shalom and broke down there.
What's Beth Shalom like?
I've been to the three largest Holocaust exhibitions in the word in the Washington Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem and the exhibition at the Imperial War museum and think that they focus on the horror of the camps, the emotional power of the camps and the facts of the Holocaust respectively. So the museums do have different focus.

Nonetheless, I know what you mean. The only places I actually cried though (remember, I'm male so they don't flow as naturally) is in the concentration and death camps. But a good guide is key to a meaningful visit. And Auschwitz I is not the best place for an emotional connection; it's practically a museum now.
0
reply
PsychadelicScarf
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#9
Report 4 years ago
#9
(Original post by DouglasAdams)
What's Beth Shalom like?
I've been to the three largest Holocaust exhibitions in the word in the Washington Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem and the exhibition at the Imperial War museum and think that they focus on the horror of the camps, the emotional power of the camps and the facts of the Holocaust respectively. So the museums do have different focus.

Nonetheless, I know what you mean. The only places I actually cried though (remember, I'm male so they don't flow as naturally) is in the concentration and death camps. But a good guide is key to a meaningful visit. And Auschwitz I is not the best place for an emotional connection; it's practically a museum now.
Beth Shalom is a small memorial place in the East Midlands. It focuses mainly on the jewish children lost in WW2. They have a small exhibition, and a memorial garden. It was just so sad, and made me cry, but I do cry easily.
0
reply
fizzers
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#10
Report 4 years ago
#10
Yeah, I've been to Sachsenhausen just north of Berlin
0
reply
DouglasAdams
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#11
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#11
(Original post by PsychadelicScarf)
Beth Shalom is a small memorial place in the East Midlands. It focuses mainly on the jewish children lost in WW2. They have a small exhibition, and a memorial garden. It was just so sad, and made me cry, but I do cry easily.
Aha, I checked it up and found that it is the only Holocaust museum in the UK, which surprises me a little.
Then again, I would suggest that you one day visit a camp; Poland is littered with them for example, and whilst you may cry, I do find that most people I know who have been find it a rewarding experience, seeing as you're fairly interested in the events anyway.
0
reply
DouglasAdams
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#12
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#12
(Original post by fizzers)
Yeah, I've been to Sachsenhausen just north of Berlin
Oh my goodness, Sachenhausen had a reputation. What did you think?
0
reply
PsychadelicScarf
Badges: 7
Rep:
?
#13
Report 4 years ago
#13
(Original post by DouglasAdams)
Aha, I checked it up and found that it is the only Holocaust museum in the UK, which surprises me a little.
Then again, I would suggest that you one day visit a camp; Poland is littered with them for example, and whilst you may cry, I do find that most people I know who have been find it a rewarding experience, seeing as you're fairly interested in the events anyway.
I didn't know that.

I may do, but not anytime soon. I went to Beth Shalom last year as part of my history GCSE. I am interested in the events, but I really don't know if I would be able to go to a concentration camp.
0
reply
De Chirico
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#14
Report 4 years ago
#14
Been to the tuol sleng prison and the killing fields in Cambodia. Pretty grim, especially the bones that are still embedded in the soil.
0
reply
mimi007
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#15
Report 4 years ago
#15
Went with my class to matthausen (Austria)
And ausschwitz 1 and 2 (poland)
0
reply
DouglasAdams
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#16
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#16
(Original post by mimi007)
Went with my class to matthausen (Austria)
And ausschwitz 1 and 2 (poland)
Did you also find that Auschwitz 1 has been turned a bit too much into a museum and Auschwitz 2 has been better preserved?
What's Mattahusen like? Never been. Obviously wasn't fun, but what was it like compared to the others?
0
reply
fizzers
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#17
Report 4 years ago
#17
(Original post by DouglasAdams)
Oh my goodness, Sachenhausen had a reputation. What did you think?
Yeah, it did.

I went a year or so ago and I remember distinctly that it was very somber and eerie as one would imagine- it was freezing cold and everything was icy, which didn't help at all. There was this certain 'feel' to it- it wasn't haunting as per but more of sorrow I guess.

The tour guide was very knowledgable, however, I couldn't really concentrate (no pun intended) on what he was saying because it's so shocking and perhaps disturbing seeing these places in real life (in contrast to reading information off a history book).

Also visited a former NKVD/Stasi prison and the experience was similar- except a bit more graphic as we were actually shown the torture methods.
0
reply
fizzers
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#18
Report 4 years ago
#18
pic of sachsenhausen

0
reply
Origami Bullets
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#19
Report 4 years ago
#19
(Original post by fizzers)
Yeah, I've been to Sachsenhausen just north of Berlin
I've been there too - I was in Berlin anyway and thought that it was one of those things you should really do at least once.
0
reply
fizzers
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#20
Report 4 years ago
#20
(Original post by Origami Bullets)
I've been there too - I was in Berlin anyway and thought that it was one of those things you should really do at least once.
Uh huh, what did you think of it?
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Where do you need more help?

Which Uni should I go to? (70)
15.95%
How successful will I become if I take my planned subjects? (44)
10.02%
How happy will I be if I take this career? (82)
18.68%
How do I achieve my dream Uni placement? (61)
13.9%
What should I study to achieve my dream career? (47)
10.71%
How can I be the best version of myself? (135)
30.75%

Watched Threads

View All