Getting flack for wanting to see Dachau.

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Dec 31st, 2000, 06:28 AM
  #1
Nancy
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Getting flack for wanting to see Dachau.

This will be my second trip to Germany. This time it will be with my husband who has never traveled overseas. I am the "bookworm" in the family and love history. I can not believe that anyone would travel to a Germany and not see Dachau, travel to Amsterdam and not see the Anne Frank House. My family tells me that they don't understand why I would want to put such a downer on our vacation by seeing something so depressing. My husband is wishy-washy about the whole thing.

We only have 2 weeks in Europe, what is the sentiment of other world travelers? Am I wrong? We would be doing far more "fun" things than "depressing" things!
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 06:43 AM
  #2
BJ
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Nancy, everyone's tastes are different to be sure.
Your vacation is as much for you as it is for your husband. If a visit to Dachau is truly something that your husband does not want to see, let that be the case. You two can separate for one day with you seeing Dachau and he can find something to do that interests him.
There was an interesting thread on the subject of Dachau and other camps. You can probably find it by doing a "search" on Dachau. If that doesn't work, try "Germany." There's excellent information and advice in it so do take the time to search for it. (P.S. I'll do a quick search and bring it to the top if I find it.)
Forget what the rest of the family says. They are probably the same people who would vacation in Honolulu and not want to see the Pearl Harbor Memorial because it would cut into their beach and sipping mai tai time.

Indulge your knowledge of history and follow your heart.
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 06:49 AM
  #3
Monica
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Go see Dachau if you want to. Don't let other people deter you away from what you want to do. It's your vacation. And as BJ says, you two can split up. There's a lot to see in Munich that you husband can choose from. There's an interesting Science and Tech museum in the area. My husband and I were in Germany in June and had a great vacation. I was very hesitant about going to Dachau and thought it would be too depressing to see, especially since it was towards the end of my trip. We went to Dachau and didn't find it depressing at all. It's very moving, but also sterile. There's not much to see. Most buildings have been torn down with the exception of about 5. The foundations of the other buildings remain. In one building there is a small museum with many photos. That was depressing. Once back in Munich, I went on with my vacation and enjoyed the rest of the trip. Dachau was worth going to and I'm glad I went.
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 06:52 AM
  #4
BJ
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Nancy, I found it very quickly.
I brought it to the top by adding a quick note.
As I type this it is 3 posts ABOVE yours.

By the way, a co-worker visited the Washington D.C. holocast memorial and said it was one of the most moving experiences of her 55 years.

P.S. Hope 2001 is good to you and for you.
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 07:26 AM
  #5
Nancy
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Thanks for all the support and advice. I will fit Dachua into my vacation.

My family & I have different ideas about the past. I go with the school of thought that says if you don't remember the past, you are destined to repeat the past. My family, I believe, are part ostrich but they are my family & I love them!

Thanks again!
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 07:27 AM
  #6
M.J.M.
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Nancy,

What on earth are you doing with such incredibly superficial people (they'd have to be Americans, I'm afraid) that they'd call the holocaust a "downer." Fer sure, dude, like eeuw, depressing, girlfriend, as if........ Do these people avoid anything that isn't Disney pollyanna cute? Better stay away from Washington, DC, the whole place is full of monuments and tombs. Forget the pyramids, sleep through Memorial Day, and -- oh, by the way, if they're Christians, the crucifix represents a moment that's a REAL downer. Avert your eyes, folks.
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 10:50 AM
  #7
Tom
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MJM,

You said,

"incredibly superficial people (they'd have to be Americans, Im afraid)"

Really, MJM, give it a rest, just a bit of a generalization that we Americans are all superficial, don't you think?

Sort of like, all Europeans need to become familiar with deodorant!

PS I've even been to Dachau!
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 11:08 AM
  #8
M.J.M.
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Sorry, I should have recognized that there are superficial people in every culture. However, America is a place where superficiality is considered a great virtue in many parts of the country. And most Europeans are close enough to the time and place of the Holocaust that it's not usually glossed over as merely a depressing but irrelevant thing.
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 11:16 AM
  #9
Burt
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MJM - I'd venture to say the vast majority of Europeans have NEVER been to Dachau. They either don't appreciate being constantly reminded about events 60 years ago or just don't care. It was three plus generations ago.
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 12:08 PM
  #10
Nancy
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Well, it appears that you can not ask any question on this forum without having the trolls come out.

While certain members of my family have given me several reasons for not visiting a Holocaust memorial on a vacation, none of them would even think of spewing the hate messages that can be found, with increasing frequency, on this forum.

I appreciate the honest and genuine replies that I have received. As for the trolls, MTV has to be having a rerun on their Spring Break orgies, go take notes.
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 02:32 PM
  #11
Rex
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On a trip this past summer, I took a group to Dachau, and there was one individual who said she felt certain it was not for her. I can assure you that she was not a superficial person.

Since I had been through the memorial before, and my wife was compfortable taking the rest of the group, this woman and I set out to see what else Dachau has to offer.

And the answer is plenty. If I had it to do over, we would have stayed longer to see some more of the old town of Dachau. I have forgotten some of the details we learned - - I think that Dachau has been an artists colony for something like 500 years; there is a Schloss Dachau - - it sits up on top of enough of a hill that you get a terrific panoramic view of all Munich.

No one needs to apologize - - nor go wanting for something to do - - while others go see the KZ-Gedenkstatte.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 06:32 PM
  #12
Angela
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Burt
I hope very much that you are wrong in your assumptions that the vast majority of Europeans don't appreciate being reminded of the Holocaust or "don't care" to remember. By remembering we will hopefully ensure such a thing can never happen again. I can't imagine many Europeans "don't care" about events 60 years ago. It is true that many Germans probably don't appreciate constant reminders but we must never forget and never "not care" about such events in our past. It should affect all of us to some extent and cause us to reflect on how we deal with others of different race/religion ect other than our own.
Dachau is worth the visit but I found the museum disturbing and could not look at some of the pictures. It is amazingly uncomfortable to think how utterly inhumane we can be.
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 08:21 PM
  #13
why
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Why is this one event, the Jewish Holocaust, during thousands of years of human history and misery, considered so much more horrible than anything else? Europe has witnessed centuries of war and death, and yes, even many, many instances of certain groups and people being singled out for extermination. Why don't people cry and fuss over the Christian persecutions? The Spanish Inquisition? The Terror of the French Revolution? Those are just a few examples of select groups of people who were targeted for murder in Europe.

You can't use the argument that it's because it's the most recent occurrence of such a thing in Europe: the murder of thousands of Albanians in the name of "ethnic cleansing" happened just a short time ago, yet how many people think about THAT during their European vacations?

I suspect the reason lies in the fact that most of the media is controlled by Jewish interests and they love to portray themselves as perpetual victims. How many books published nowadays are written by non-Jews and don't have at least SOME reference to the victimization of Jews during WWII? How many movies and documentaries about the Holocaust come out of Jewish-controlled Hollywood?

Just a little tired of all the fuss and whining about it. It's not as if they are the only people who have ever suffered.

 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 10:24 PM
  #14
Why Not ?
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Good point, Why. The holocaust was a horrible affair, but just as horrible crimes are taking place to this very day. Ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. The mowing down of people in Palestine, pertuated by none other than the Jews themselves. And what about the Nazi victims we never hear about ? The Jews were not the only community targeted by Hitler for extermination. Gay people received the same treatment too.
The holocaust is a shame to humanity, but the concept is still being perpetuated to this very day. What are we doing about it ?
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 10:26 PM
  #15
I know Why
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Dear Why:
Why are you so afraid to start off your diatribe with the anti semitic crap that you end it with? Why even bother posing a question?
You remind me of a good Nazi by starting off slowly and then, because of your hate, you quickly come forward with your true feelings.
Heil....
Sorry Nancy, but just asking about Dachau and seeing that anti semitism is still so persuasive, should be reason enough for not only you but also your husband to visit Dachau.
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 11:20 PM
  #16
Holly
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To: Why

You make me want to vomit.
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 11:35 PM
  #17
Holly
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To: Why

If you want to know why it is considered so much more horrible than anything else, then start reading, and start with:

The Boys, by Martin Gilbert

I Will Bear Witness, A Diary of the Nazi Years, Volumes I and II, by Victor Klemperer
 
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Dec 31st, 2000, 11:46 PM
  #18
Angela
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Also any autobiographical book by Primo Levi or Elie Wiesel, anything by Martin Gilbert.
 
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Jan 1st, 2001, 01:01 AM
  #19
Michelle
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A couple of months ago, while in London, I visited the Holocaust Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. It was a very moving and sombre experience.

I came away feeling in no way depressed although I admit to feeling sombre, emotionally-extended, thoughtful and (yes) angry. However, eventually the over-riding feelings were positive. Compassion, empathy, gratitude I was born where I was, appreciation of life and freedom, a kind of heightened humanity and the feeling that the good things in our societies should be nurtured, protected and treasured. Therefore, Nancy, if I were you, and if I had the opportunity, I'd go to Dachau - having visited that exhibition I don't think Dachau will be a downer but rather something that expands your views/feelings. Leave the family behind if need be, maybe they're not ready to go there yet (if ever). Also, if you've not read it, "Man's Search for Meaning" by Victor E. Frankl is definitely worth reading.

 
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Jan 1st, 2001, 09:15 AM
  #20
Nancy
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Thanks again to everyone that has responded, even the mean spirited ones. My husband read this thread & it has made him want to see Dachau now, to see why some people are trying to convince him not to see it.

Rex, you had a good point about seeing the old town around the camp. I think we may do that too.

On my other visit to Germany in 1999, my sister and I went to Rothenburg, we went to a pub there where every Wed. night some of the locals get together to have what they call an "English Conversation Club". It was one of the most enjoyable experiences I had. There were people from WWII and younger people there. My sister is 17 years older than I am and grew up with my father just coming home from WWII. She didn't enjoy the conversation as much as I did because she couldn't shake the feeling that my daddy (and others in our family) may have been shooting at or were shot at by these men sitting across from us. It was still way too personal for her. I, on the other hand, enjoyed hearing their perspective on many different things from gun control to the use of trucks to move their goods now over trains! (We weren't supposed to talk politics or religion!)

It has been said that history is written by the winners but I like to have the facts and to do that you can't only get one perspective, you have to get both sides, but you have to get the truth from both sides, not an idealized viewpoint, and certainly not a reconstructed version manufactured years later.

I can't wait to get back and resubmerge myself in Germany! Thanks!!
 
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