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concentration camps

Old Apr 3rd, 1999, 04:45 PM
  #1  
Lucy
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concentration camps

I am going to be in Wolfsburg, Germany in May and I am interested in visiting a concentration camp nearby. does anyone know of any nearby?
 
Old Apr 5th, 1999, 05:32 AM
  #2  
dan
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I was going to suggest Buchenwald, but even that one is about 4 hours by train. Off the top of my head, I can't remember which ones were in the area, but I have several good resources at home. I will consult and let you know tomorrow. Try to find a copy of Konnilyn Feig's "Hitler's Death Camps: The Sanity of Madness." Not only is it a great history of what happened at the individual camps, but it also provides post-war information and photos to give you some idea of what the camps' remains are like now.
 
Old Apr 5th, 1999, 05:32 AM
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dan
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I was going to suggest Buchenwald, but even that one is about 4 hours by train. Off the top of my head, I can't remember which ones were in the area, but I have several good resources at home. I will consult and let you know tomorrow. Try to find a copy of Konnilyn Feig's "Hitler's Death Camps: The Sanity of Madness." Not only is it a great history of what happened at the individual camps, but it also provides post-war information and photos to give you some idea of what the camps' remains are like now.
 
Old Apr 5th, 1999, 11:59 AM
  #4  
mwg
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Unless I'm mistaken, most death camps were in Poland. Dachau, outside of Munich, was an early concentration camp, originally for politcal prisoners. I found it quite sobering.
 
Old Apr 6th, 1999, 04:48 AM
  #5  
dan
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You are right about what are technically referred to as "death camps." There were six, and all were in Poland: Auschwitz, Majdanek, Chelmno, Treblinka, Sobibor, and Belzec - Majdanek and Auschwitz were actually part concentration camps, as they did not exist only to kill (industry, etc). However, there were many concentration camps in Germany, Austria, present Czech Republic, occupied France, etc. Among the German ones are Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, Buchenwald, Mittelgau-Dora, Ravensbruck, and Sachsenhausen.

I know this is a morbid topic, but it is an important one. Sorry, I forgot to look up the ones near Wolfsburg last night. We have a newborn daughter, who was a handful last night. I will try again today.
 
Old Apr 6th, 1999, 08:21 PM
  #6  
Chris
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I, too, am interested in visiting a concentration camp, as it's such an important part of history. As sad and horrible as it is, I feel compelled to see and feel the experience, as best I can. I learned of a camp not far from Salzburg called, 'Mauthausen' and am wondering if anyone has been there or heard about it and if it's worth the trip. I've heard Auschwitz is incredible, but we'll be nowhere near Poland, so I'm looking for a good alternative. Thanks for your insights.
 
Old Apr 7th, 1999, 12:51 AM
  #7  
Myron
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We were at Mauthausen this past May. We've also been to Dachau, Sachenhausen and Thierensenstadt. IMO Mauthausen was the most sobering of them all. And the best preserved. The museum exhibits though are only in German although they do have an English audio tape you can check out when you buy your ticket (tape use is free) but that tape doesn't not cover the museum building. We felt upset about one thing... that large groups of Austrian high school aged teens were all over the camp on field trips and very poorly supervised. Teens smoking, shouting, running and singing happy songs were all over the camp and down in the quarry where 10,000 of thousands died. I felt VERY ANGRY at the Austrian teachers who were with these students and allowing them to carry on so disrespectfully in such a place of horror. For shame for them all. Austria was very much involved in the Third Reich...Hitler was Austrian as was much of the SS.
 
Old Apr 7th, 1999, 04:46 AM
  #8  
dan
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To answer your original question Lucy: Bergen-Belsen is the closest major camp to Wolfsburg, according to my sources. Celle is supposed to be the nearest major town, just northeast of Hannover and about 1:30 - 1:45 from Wolfsburg by train. The camp is at the small town of Bergen (13,000 pop.). From what I can tell, there is some type of memorial there, but I don't know how much remains. The Feig book I mentioned should tell you.

For some background on the camp. Bergen-Belsen was not a very important camp for the most part. Until 1943, it was used for injured POWs. Then Pohl of the SS camp administration office set it up as an internment camp for Jews and other prisoners, many of whom were being transferred from areas being overrun by the Russians in the East. One purpose was to use it as a point from which to exchange Jews for German captives. At first, it was sort of a "model camp" in that conditions were relatively good. However, the camp became severely overcrowded, and disease took over. Some survivors of Auschwitz said Bergen-Belsen was even worse. Anne Frank died at Bergen-Belsen, after being transferred from Auschwitz. Somewhat like Dachau, Bergen-Belsen gained much of its infamy from its very publicized liberation. The British liberated it in 1945, finding piles of corpses and disease-ridden inmates.

Hope this helps.
 
Old Apr 7th, 1999, 08:28 PM
  #9  
dan
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I appreciate all your input into answering my question.I will rent that book soon,and I again would like to thank you for all your help.
 
Old Apr 11th, 1999, 04:17 PM
  #10  
maureen roeland
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We went to the "Special Camp in Sachsenhausen" which was set up during the 1936 Olympics in Berlin as a "modern, completely up-to-date concentration camp." (Heinrich Himmler)
Later, it was used by the Soviets (1945-1950)as a camp for their "undesirables and politcal enemies."
Address:
The New Museum of the Sachsenhausen Memorial, Strabe der Nationem 22, 16515 Oranienburg.
We drove, but were met by our former exchange students who took a train from Berlin right to the town.

It still haunts my mind.
 
Old Apr 12th, 1999, 05:08 AM
  #11  
raeona
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The Imperial War Museum in London (highly recommended!) has a tremendously affecting exhibit on Belsen, with film of the "liberation". The Allies found 10,000 unburied bodies...it's (all) a scope of inhumanity that's hard to imagine.
 
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 01:31 PM
  #12  
Mark
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I am traveling to Berlin in a few days. I would like (if that is the word) to go to Buchenwald while I am there. Can anyone tell me how one reaches Buchenwald from Berlin without a car? Please feel free to email me directly.
 
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 02:22 PM
  #13  
KT
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To get to Buchenwald without a car: Take the train to Weimar. There is an hourly bus to Buchenwald that stops right outside the station. I can't remember the number of the bus (I just took it a few weeks ago), but the tourist office or bus information stand at the station can tell you, or you can figure it out by looking at the bus route signs (Buchenwald is the bus's final destination.) You could also take a cab from the station.
 
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 03:21 PM
  #14  
Marc David Miller
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Mark, you could also go to Sachsenhausen, which is not far north of Berlin. It was a "model" concentration camp, mostly used for Soviet prisoners (Stalin's son died there).

http://www.concentrationcampguide.com/

is an ad for "Concentration Camps: A Traveler's Guide to World War II Sites" a well-written travel book. Get the printed edition (there is also an ebook edition but at least in the past it would not print out). It is a very detailed (from a tourism perspective) book.
 
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