Dachua vs Auschwitz

Old May 7th, 2001, 11:43 AM
  #1  
marcia kilborn
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Dachua vs Auschwitz

Can anyone tell me if I should cut my tour of Germany short, in order to visit Poland? I could visit Dachua while in Germany, or should I take a few extra days and go to Auschwitz instead?
 
Old May 7th, 2001, 01:17 PM
  #2  
Thyra
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Marchia... I have not visited Auschwitz, but did go to Dauchau as a 21 year old backpacker and it left such a bone chilling impression on me that I would never have to visit another one of those places the rest of my life to be in touch with it's evilness. Unless you have family or friends who perished in a specific camp or are studying that period of history then there is no reason that I can see to plan an extra few days of your trip just to visit Auschewitz. Dachau has a very informative photo gallery and some haunting artistic memorials to victims of the Holocaust. If you react as I did, even the slightest touch of that whole period will stay with you forever.
 
Old May 7th, 2001, 01:18 PM
  #3  
Simon
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If you have to visit a German concentration camp, then it should be the one in Auschwietz. I havent been to either as I changed my mind at the last minute (see my travel report...http://travel.simonserge.org) but have no doubt from all the research I did, that Auschwitz (spelt differently in poland, note) is the best choice.
 
Old May 7th, 2001, 02:16 PM
  #4  
joe
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I had much the same experience as Thyra.I was at Dachau at closing time in the middle of winter. I was alone in the crematorium when the lights began to be turned out. It was all I have ever needed in my life to be "in touch with the evilness."
 
Old May 7th, 2001, 03:26 PM
  #5  
alan
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We have been to both Dachau and Auschwitz and they are both chilling. It is hard to recommend one over the other. My impression was that Auschwitz was "cleaned" up more. Most of the living quarters were torn down and some of the chilling aspect of it is gone. The desolation remains. Dachau remains most in my mind for what was not done. It is very difficult to choose one over the other, remember the victims had no choice.
alan
 
Old May 7th, 2001, 03:28 PM
  #6  
peter
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im glad you all were upsset by visiting the camps. you are supposed to be. i would not avoid them because they are so unpleasant but recommend them for all to see. maybe then they will remember what happened and the next time some jerk doubts the existance of the camps they can be informed otherwise. if we forget this terrible lesson and society today is forgetting, then we may be again a victim of this type of behaivor in the future. besides the rememberence of all those who suffered so is a fitting memorial. if you are in the us in washington d.c. go to the holocaust memorial-its truely a very moving experience. i feel that an event does not have to be [positive to to be worthwhile
 
Old May 7th, 2001, 03:31 PM
  #7  
the turnip
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Actually Alan some of the victims did have a choice. One of the groups interned in the concentration camps was Jehovah's Witnesses. They were given purple triangles to wear. Any of the Witnesses there could have left at any time. All they had to do was sign a document saying they were no longer part of that religious group and that they now supported the Third Reich. Very few chose to do so...
 
Old May 7th, 2001, 03:59 PM
  #8  
peter
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reply to last post- that is true but the % of this one group was so small as compared to the total that is hardly a figure to base much on. they did die for their courage and this is recognized. but hte very largest proportion of people intered had NO CHOICE. IT ALSO DOES NOT hurt to remember what josef stalin did- over 20 million and few memorials to them
 
Old May 7th, 2001, 04:18 PM
  #9  
aaa
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Dachau was the most moving experience of my life and left a lasting impression. If you are in Munich,then definitely see Dachau-it is bone chilling and very real. I would not go out of my way to see Auschwitz unless I had a loved one perish there. But make sure you do go to one or the other. It should be required of everyone going into Germany or Austria to see one of these camps so that it doesn't happen again.
 
Old May 7th, 2001, 04:33 PM
  #10  
Jean Valjean
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As far as chilling experiences go, I thought that Mauthausen was a lot less sanitized than Dachau, and certainly much more impactful. Most of the buildings are still place and the whole aura of the place is much more sinister.

It is very hard to fathom what happened at these places. I would recommend them if you have a particular interest in the WWII period. They are hardly what you would call an "attraction". They can be life changing experiences. I would ask myself: Why would I want to go?
 
Old May 7th, 2001, 04:49 PM
  #11  
Deborah
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I haven't been to Auschwitz, but I've taken tour groups (high school students) to Dachau three times. It is remarkable. The visitors' center is filled with compelling information. I highly recommend going.

One suggestion: if you saw Schindler's List, you noticed that at the end, survivors and their descendants were vising Oskar Schindler's grave and leaving stones there. It is a Jewish tradition (as I understand it) of honoring the dead. Just outside the visitor's center at Dachau is a small monument inscribed with the words "Never forget" or "Always remember." On top of this small monument each day hundreds of small stones are left by visitors. I have my students find a stone from their neighborhoods and bring them along. Then we leave them on the monument. It is a very sobering little ceremony, and my students have left feeling the experience a little more personally.

Deborah
 
Old May 7th, 2001, 08:49 PM
  #12  
Linda
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I have not been to Dachua but have visited Auschwitz/Birkenau. Auschwitz has some interesting exhibits. Birkenau is moving because even though most of the barracks are gone, the two chimneys of each of the barracks remain as far as the eye can see.
 
Old May 8th, 2001, 03:38 AM
  #13  
mj
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Marcia,
At the end of our two week trip in Feb. we drove from Salzburg to Dachau arriving late on a rainy Saturday night. While hunting for a hotel, we drove past "the wall" but could only surmise, by its sinister look, that it was the camp.

The next day, we visited what I can only describe as the most powerful example of inhumanity I have ever seen - and having served in Vietnam, that speaks volumes for the place.

Based on what's on the Auschwitz Museum website, it appears to be a more complete example of a camp - Dachau has only 2 standing barracks and the foundations of the rest; but the visitors center, exhibits and movie give an excellent history of what happened there and throughout the entire network of camps.

IMHO, a visit to either place will "move " you like nothing you've experienced before...it did for us.
 
Old May 8th, 2001, 05:19 AM
  #14  
ilisa
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Deborah, yes, it is a Jewish tradition to leave stones on a grave. There is debate on where this tradition started, and it is not universal among Jews. We do it to say that we were there. Also, it is commonly accepted that it is done because stones are more permanent and won't die.
 
Old May 8th, 2001, 07:32 AM
  #15  
Dave
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We saw Auschwitz/Birkenau. What will remain with me forever is the vision of people walking, walking, walking along the path from the boxcars to the crematoria.
 
Old May 8th, 2001, 10:06 AM
  #16  
dan woodlief
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I have been to Dachau but haven't yet been to Auschwitz. If you want the camp "experience," you can get it at Dachau. However, while I found it very sad, moving, and educational, I too found it a little sanitized, even on a cloudy, rainy day. I have studied Auschwitz and the Holocaust quite a bit in school. From what I hear, the Birkenau part really leaves an impression. I don't know if I would go to Poland just to visit Auschwitz unless it just interests you that much. It doesn't seem like an easy trip. Why not go to Cracow, Poland and visit Auschwitz from there? Then you could see a great city and visit the camp. If you live in the U.S., you should really try to visit the Holocaust Museum in D.C. if you haven't been. Powerful stuff indeed.
 
Old May 8th, 2001, 03:01 PM
  #17  
alan
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I wanted to respond to the person who mentioned Mauthausen. I didn't mention it because the writer was visiting Poland and Germany. My wifes uncles is a survivor of Mauthausen and when we were there she was unable to stay because of it.The writer is correct about Mauthausen being the way it is.
 

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