Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    I'm hoping to visit Auschwitz this summer with a friend and just wanted to hear if anyone had been there/how they felt about it. I've heard it's very overwhelming, just wondered if any TSRians had visited.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    I think it was Dachau my parents took me to as a teenager in the early 1980s. If that was anything to go by: take plenty of tissues; allow longer than you expect; do not expect to achieve anything else that day.

    We were fortunate, the place was empty.

    It was a life-changer for me.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Simes)
    I think it was Dachau my parents took me to as a teenager in the early 1980s. If that was anything to go by: take plenty of tissues; allow longer than you expect; do not expect to achieve anything else that day.

    We were fortunate, the place was empty.

    It was a life-changer for me.
    We're considering going to Dachau too actually (going interrailing...we're not going to spend the whole time at concentration camps, I swear )

    But yeah I've read lots of reviews about both that say they're places that should definitely be seen. I've wanted to visit for years but didn't want to go alone
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    It was amazing and as you stated very overwhelming. The guided tours were very informative as well, but yeah it's pretty easy to get emotional. I didn't cry myself, but a lot of my friends did. Definitely go :yy:
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Precious Illusions)
    I've wanted to visit for years but didn't want to go alone
    Wise. Some experiences need to be shared and discussed to be understood, and this may be one.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Not Auschwitz, but I went to Sacchenhausen just outside of Berlin in Year 10, holy **** that brought a tear to my eye. Empty courtyards, sand blowing and tumbleweeds everywhere
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Simes)
    I think it was Dachau my parents took me to as a teenager in the early 1980s. If that was anything to go by: take plenty of tissues; allow longer than you expect; do not expect to achieve anything else that day.

    We were fortunate, the place was empty.

    It was a life-changer for me.
    if this isn't some sort of paraphrase for very moving, can I ask how?
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    I went when I was about 18. It's a very worthwhile trip and incredibly interesting.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Tai Ga)
    It was amazing and as you stated very overwhelming. The guided tours were very informative as well, but yeah it's pretty easy to get emotional. I didn't cry myself, but a lot of my friends did. Definitely go :yy:
    Yeah I can imagine. Definitely think I'll end up crying too heh.

    (Original post by Simes)
    Wise. Some experiences need to be shared and discussed to be understood, and this may be one.
    Most definitely. I can see myself getting emotional too and needing a fair bit of alcohol after so don't think I could go alone, lol.

    (Original post by Smash Bandicoot)
    Not Auschwitz, but I went to Sacchenhausen just outside of Berlin in Year 10, holy **** that brought a tear to my eye. Empty courtyards, sand blowing and tumbleweeds everywhere
    Would you advise visiting Sacchenhausen too? I'm going to Berlin in April so might if I get the chance. I'm just really interested in everything WW2 related
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Precious Illusions)
    Yeah I can imagine. Definitely think I'll end up crying too heh.



    Most definitely. I can see myself getting emotional too and needing a fair bit of alcohol after so don't think I could go alone, lol.



    Would you advise visiting Sacchenhausen too? I'm going to Berlin in April so might if I get the chance. I'm just really interested in everything WW2 related
    oh yeah definitely. I'll be honest I cannot remember anything I learnt there, it was so grim. I have vague recollections of dilapidated cubicles and showers with fungus growing on them of course
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    I've done Sacchenhause, and while I found it really interesting, I didn't move me emotionally like people said it would. Worth going to though. The "ovens" are still there which was very disturbing, as is the firing range. Overall a good place for learning and reflection. And if you're in Berlin, checked out the Jewish museum, and the Jewish/Russian Memorials, they're amazing.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    I've been to Auschwitz, Dachau, Sachsenhausen and also Coldits (although Colditz is different, still similar). The experience is very overwhelming, I would definitely recommend visiting, lots of people did cry at points because of how overwhelming and emotional it can be. You'll definitely find the experience worthwhile.

    Also, Auschwitz has more than one camp so expect to spend at least a full day looking around, I would recommend visiting Auschwit-Birkenau first.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by rachel.h)
    I went when I was about 18. It's a very worthwhile trip and incredibly interesting.
    Good to hear!

    (Original post by Buxtonwater)
    I've been to Auschwitz, Dachau, Sachsenhausen and also Coldits (although Colditz is different, still similar). The experience is very overwhelming, I would definitely recommend visiting, lots of people did cry at points because of how overwhelming and emotional it can be. You'll definitely find the experience worthwhile.

    Also, Auschwitz has more than one camp so expect to spend at least a full day looking around, I would recommend visiting Auschwit-Birkenau first.
    Yeah I expect we'll take full days for them. Thanks for the tip!

    (Original post by Dani California)
    I've done Sacchenhause, and while I found it really interesting, I didn't move me emotionally like people said it would. Worth going to though. The "ovens" are still there which was very disturbing, as is the firing range. Overall a good place for learning and reflection. And if you're in Berlin, checked out the Jewish museum, and the Jewish/Russian Memorials, they're amazing.
    Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely check them out!
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Smash Bandicoot)
    if this isn't some sort of paraphrase for very moving, can I ask how?
    It is hard to put in writing without it being tl;dr

    The main message I took away from there was "This was not done by devils. It was done by normal people. People like you." Circumstances made normal people allow this to happen, and normal people drove the trains, ran the camps, delivered the stores, etc. Just normal people like me.

    (Around the same time I had been reading the Sven Hassel books where his exciting war stories about being in the German Army also included horror he felt at the the unnecessarily cruel things he sometimes did. After all, what difference does it make whether you shoot someone to death quickly or do it slowly and have some fun doing it, they're the enemy and they're going to die anyway. Those actions and his reaction left me confused until I saw the exhibition at Dachau.)

    It has meant I have been conscious ever since just how thin the veneer of civilisation is. That left me open to understanding later lessons: that we really wild animals merely constrained by society's norms. When society says it is OK to victimise someone for a physical characteristic, you might just do it. And when someone in authority says "Kill them, it's OK" most of us will.

    And it opened up other questions: what is a 'human'? Says who? Why? What is 'evil'? Says who? Why?

    Later on, when working with Alan Wilson's autobiography where he describes what he saw at Bergen-Belsen, I learned how the people working in the extermination camps were just doing a job of work. Like sewage workers or road sweepers or any other cleansing operative. One of the things he said upset him most was when they ordered the guards to gather and bury the bodies, the guards genuinely could not see why it was a task of any importance. They had completely dehumanised the inmates.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Simes)
    It is hard to put in writing without it being tl;dr

    The main message I took away from there was "This was not done by devils. It was done by normal people. People like you." Circumstances made normal people allow this to happen, and normal people drove the trains, ran the camps, delivered the stores, etc. Just normal people like me.

    (Around the same time I had been reading the Sven Hassel books where his exciting war stories about being in the German Army also included horror he felt at the the unnecessarily cruel things he sometimes did. After all, what difference does it make whether you shoot someone to death quickly or do it slowly and have some fun doing it, they're the enemy and they're going to die anyway. Those actions and his reaction left me confused until I saw the exhibition at Dachau.)

    It has meant I have been conscious ever since just how thin the veneer of civilisation is. That left me open to understanding later lessons: that we really wild animals merely constrained by society's norms. When society says it is OK to victimise someone for a physical characteristic, you might just do it. And when someone in authority says "Kill them, it's OK" most of us will.

    And it opened up other questions: what is a 'human'? Says who? Why? What is 'evil'? Says who? Why?

    Later on, when working with Alan Wilson's autobiography where he describes what he saw at Bergen-Belsen, I learned how the people working in the extermination camps were just doing a job of work. Like sewage workers or road sweepers or any other cleansing operative. One of the things he said upset him most was when they ordered the guards to gather and bury the bodies, the guards genuinely could not see why it was a task of any importance. They had completely dehumanised the inmates.
    this is cathartic. I was aware intellectually of the Nuremberg Defence but you brought emotional resonance to it yet again. Thank you.
    Offline

    6
    ReputationRep:
    I'm actually from Poland and have visited Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oświęcim and I must admit it's been a truly moving adventure. If you know some background or the history of the WW II, you can feel like you're there yourself. I've also visited Stutthof, but Auschwitz is much bigger and you can see all the equipment and the things that were left after the prisoners, whereas Stutthof is more like a museum, there's an exhibition, a memorial, a cinema and that's it.
    Once again, it's a really emotional experience and lets you understand the events from within. I totally recommend a visit, even if you're not particularly interested in history.
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Smash Bandicoot)
    this is cathartic. I was aware intellectually of the Nuremberg Defence but you brought emotional resonance to it yet again. Thank you.
    And, I think, the solutions to prevent the Nuremberg Defence being used again are education, legislation and remembrance.

    Education: ensure people understand what happened, who did it, why they did it and that, unless prevented, it could happen again.

    Legislation: a few internationally agreed laws on what orders someone can legitimately disobey and which must be disobeyed.

    Remembrance: where necessary, legislate against revisionism. Don't allow people to say "Ah yes but" and "it wasn't so bad" or worse.

    It was a monstrous, hideous act so bad it has its own word. Fiddling with the numbers will not change that, but it takes away from the memorial that humans can cheerfully kill other humans on an industrial scale. That's the important bit. Not the nations or races or religions involved. It was humans culling humans.

    And the only person that can stop that happening is you not doing it yourself. Where 'you' is every one of us.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: January 11, 2015
Poll
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.