Auschwitz Watch

Magnum Opus
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#1
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just wondering if anyone else on here has been to Auschwitz with the HET
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Crowgirl
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#2
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With the who now? lol


Ive never been but know someone who has. He was really freaked out by it, not a place he wants to return to in a hurry.
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username141550
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I've been, I dunno what HET stands for. It was pretty much what you'd expect it to be.
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lodzinski
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#4
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No idea who the HET are but yes, I've been there, as well as to KL Stutthof. You can feel the place as soon as you are close. It's not like a labour camp, you know it is a death camp just from the feel of the place. It's eerily quiet, and for me, quie sickening. nontheless, It is a place I feel everyone, if given the option, should go to. You cannot know the extent of evil, human suffering and the human condition until you go somewhere like this. it is almost like a real life pandora's box.

you won't enjoy it per se, but you will be glad you went.
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Tyler Durden
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HET = Holocaust Educational Trust, I believe.

I've been, but not with the HET. To be honest, it was an underwhelming experience. [NB. That is not to downplay the horror of what happened there]. The atmosphere (it was a hot, sunny day and there were crowds of kids walking about) as well as the neatly compartmentalised nature of the displays didn't do much to convey the atrocity of what happened at Auschwitz. I can't say I am disappointed by that, but I was a little surprised. More in line with how I had perceived the place was Birkenau, which is a larger complex connected to Auschwitz (a few miles from the main part). The only thing I can think is that it allowed me time to be alone with my thoughts whereas Auschwitz itself did not.
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fly4fun
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Last time my school went there, there was a couple who saw a photograph on a wall. The woman screamed - she saw a picture of her grandad. The officials took her away and confirme that her grandad had died there during the war. previously no-one knew what had happened to him.
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lodzinski
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#7
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(Original post by englishstudent)
HET = Holocaust Educational Trust, I believe.

I've been, but not with the HET. To be honest, it was an underwhelming experience. [NB. That is not to downplay the horror of what happened there]. The atmosphere (it was a hot, sunny day and there were crowds of kids walking about) as well as the neatly compartmentalised nature of the displays didn't do much to convey the atrocity of what happened at Auschwitz. I can't say I am disappointed by that, but I was a little surprised. More in line with how I had perceived the place was Birkenau, which is a larger complex connected to Auschwitz (a few miles from the main part). The only thing I can think is that it allowed me time to be alone with my thoughts whereas Auschwitz itself did not.
Agreed. Auchwitz 1 feels more like a museum, and is a bit crowded - auchwitz 2, where most of the deaths happened is more touching. Personally I preferred Stutthof, as it was very quiet and the guide was a holocaust survivor, very intelligent and made some great points, whereas the guides at auchwitz feel a bit detatched from the whole thing - its just information, almost textbook like, you dont get a perspective, whereas at the smaller camps you do.
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freetofly
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I've been there, but I don't know if it was a HET visit. The place from the outside doesn't seem like a death camp - its red brick, it was a sunny day...inside, on the other hand, was different. Personally, the worst part was seeing all the belongings they had left carefully marked with their names, as they thought they would get them back after a 'shower'...no idea of what happened.

I agree with a previous poster - Birkenau was scarier. Especially when we went into the death chamber itself.

The story of the woman and her granddad...thats horrible.
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Magnum Opus
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#9
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when i went it was snowy, so it helped to understand the conditions. i somewhat agree with englishstudent, the horror isn't there really. although the emptiness and vastness stands out considerably. i think i would've benefited from being there longer. birkenau was a bit unexpected for me, the brick buildings etc. not what i expected.
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nota bene
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#10
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I've been to Stutthof, but not Auschwitz. It's an interesting experience, and I found it very good.
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lodzinski
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Another thing that stands out from going there, moreso than smaller camps in Poland is how systematic and well planned the whole 'final solution' was. Everything was thought through and carefully designed to create the maximum amount of death, horror and suffering on these people. It almost felt businesslike.
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Profesh
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(Original post by fly4fun)
Last time my school went there, there was a couple who saw a photograph on a wall. The woman screamed - she saw a picture of her grandad. The officials took her away and confirme that her grandad had died there during the war. previously no-one knew what had happened to him.
Oh, that's harsh.
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randomgirl
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(Original post by fly4fun)
Last time my school went there, there was a couple who saw a photograph on a wall. The woman screamed - she saw a picture of her grandad. The officials took her away and confirme that her grandad had died there during the war. previously no-one knew what had happened to him.
omg that is so disturbing.

I haven't been but I think I'd like to go someday.
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thisisrubbish
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#14
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I've been with the HET, is there anything you'd like to know?
They really are fantastic. My group leader was so informative and the discussions we had with him at the seminars we very thought provoking.

The whole experience, obviously, was by no means pleasant but i'm so glad I went, it really was life changing.
Every has a different experience there, but I got reallt emotional and was glad to leave too.
The first camp didn't seem like a concentration camp, there's trees and grass lining buildings. It seems almost quaint. But inside the museums were really shocking and I could easily connect to parts of it, really helped me see the holocaust as 6 million individual stories rather than an abstract number.

The second camp, however, was the part that really hit me. Just the sense of what happened there was overwhelming.

We are now just doing our follow up in school with younger students now, done 3 workshops, so if you want to share ideas or need any advice feel free

When are you going?
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Sophy!
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#15
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Iwent to Auschwitz with HET in April last year. I completely agree with what others have been saying- Auschwitz camp I doesn't feel like a death camp at all; when I went the sun was shining and there were loads of people there. I found the whole thing quite bizarre actually, confronted with the horror of the things that had happened but not really being able to take it all in.
I really agree though, it was when we visited Birkenau that I truly understood and could take in the sheer scale of the camps and the horror of what went on there.
I had the strangest experience there though - right at the end of the day, just before we were about to go, we came out of one of the buildings and it had just stopped raining, and across the whole camp there was a huge rainbow. It was so surreal.
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joeydeacon
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#16
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I have not been but would like to, it's one of the few places in the world I would like to visit.

On another level completely, Alcatraz is another place I would like to visit.
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