Getting flack for wanting to see Dachau.

Jan 1st, 2001, 01:32 PM
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I would like to apologise to you for each of the people below, who felt that a response to you was the proper forum to air their views on genocide and racial relations.
I'm sorry that they aren't smart enough to answer your question or keep their views to themselves.
Certainly all of us know that wrongs have been done to many cultures, and many people. I believe that if you feel it would be an enriching and rewarding experience for your to visit any of the camps in Germany or Poland, you should go. I would urge your husband to go also, but if he feels strongly that he does not want to, that is his decision. Good for you for wanting to see the bad as well as the good. Have a safe trip.
Jan 1st, 2001, 06:05 PM
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I'm Jewish and I'm also American, and the one thing that I love about America is the freedom you have to express yourself and your opinions. If you don't agree with others' opinions, then offer intelligent counterarguments, offer your own opinions, or keep silent, but don't point fingers and hurl names. That's the easiest and least thoughtful response you can make.

I've seen no evidence on this post of anti-semitism. What I've seen are would-be self-appointed censors, which is more dangerous than anything in a society.

Interesting points made here, and I for one take them well, with no animosity or desire to call anyone a name. Please do not take it upon yourself to issue blanket apologies for whatever is written here or anywhere. Freedom of speech and expression is the key to an open society.

Thanks for the opportunity to say my piece, hope you have a good trip Nancy.
Jan 1st, 2001, 06:19 PM
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When a person talks aabout jews controlling the media and Hollywood what you have is an anti semite. The fact that you are jewish and an American is of little or no consequence in your ability or inability to recognize anti-semitism when it exists. The fact that someone recognizes anti semitism and calls the person on it is not censorship. as you say, there is no need for censorship, but there is also no need to keep quiet about racist or anti semitic thought that one tries to pass off as constructive thought.
Finally, it is beyond me to understand how someone who says that he or she is jewish does not recognize the blatent anti semitism referred to in this thread.
Jan 1st, 2001, 09:22 PM
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O.K. Dave, settle down. No one expressed any "hate" here. The motion picture industry was in fact founded by East Coast Jews who came to California for a little sun, and is still largely dominated by them. So?

I remember hearing Marlo Brando say to Larry King once that "Hollywood is run by Jews" and the media hysterically labeled him "anti-Semitic." I later read a magazine interview with Jennifer Grey (star of "Dirty Dancing") who said she couldn't get a job in Hollywood for years after DD because she was told she looked "too Jewish." She also claimed in the interview that it was ironic because all the producers were Jews themselves (male of course) but that they wanted "the goddesses." Howard Stern once appeared on a T.V. interview and claimed that his childhood neighborhood "turned black overnight" but that his father "stuck it out" and refused to move, as if that was something heroic. Didn't hear any media comments about those statements. So it must be O.K. when other Jews comment about the harsh realities of life, just not Gentiles. Not PC, you know.

Jan 1st, 2001, 09:31 PM
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One thing you have to remember about kikes - their loyalties lie with Israel, NOT the United States! They are thieving snakes in the grass never to be trusted!

P.S. Why would anyone want to visit these fairy-tale sites of the HoloHoax? Do you also believe in the Tooth Fairy?
Jan 2nd, 2001, 04:46 AM
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As someone who lost many relatives in Auschwitz, and as someone who has spent her life around Holocaust survivors, I can understand your interest, Nancy. Everyone has different tastes and interests, and you should follow them. My parents are very much like your family. My dad, who lost no one on his side of the family, refuses to watch any Holcaust footage, see movies such as "Schindler's List", go to a Holocaust museum, etc., because he believes it would be too depressing. My mother says she has no desire to, even though it is through her side of the family that we have such a connection with the Holocaust. To each his own, though it saddens me that they refuse to learn more about such a time in our history. You can't change people. I, for one, will make sure my daughter is educated about the Holocaust. As for those who feel the need to fill this board with their racial epithets, and ignorant offerings, I can only feel sorry for you. It must be so tough to live in such a shallow, narrow-minded world.
Jan 2nd, 2001, 07:12 AM
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Hi Nancy:
I skipped most of the posts after they started to flame so I'll give you me thoughts--Though I have not been to Germany I've been o Amsterdam and found the Anne Frnak one of the most moving experiences. Not a downer at all but an eye opener. I left in tears but I was glad I had gone.
I cannot remeber which cathedral I was in (St Paul's?) that had a log of all the people killed during World War I and II. It was typewritten and was very detailed. Another type Icould not help but be moved to tears. My mother who was a teenager during WWII was really moved and cried for a long time. It did not put a damper to our vaction It was another part of my education and a really big part of our history.
Go and absorb.
Don't worry about what others think.
Jan 2nd, 2001, 07:35 AM
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Wasn't Dacau the Nazi concentration camp for political prisoners, queers and other moral defectives?
Jan 2nd, 2001, 07:50 AM
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sorry but i just had to stick up for Americans though I would never stick up for anti-semitism) i agree with the person who stuck up for America as the place where anyone can express any opinion. i'm not Jewish; however, I am black so I can empathize a little. i am a black attorney working for the ACLU I beieve in the freedom of speech in American and would have no problem representing some who is a member of the KKK (I certainly don't condone their ideals but I I believe they are free to speak them!)

None of this really concerns Nancy's question though. I think whether you choose to visit these places while in Germany depends on what kind of trip you are taking. I fyou are going to experience the history and culture of another country then certainly this is part of it! If you are going for a pleasurable leisur vacation this could truly "be a downer" as someone put it earlier. Personally, I don't like to dwell on these terrible things that have happened in the past and pre fer to move forward to the future but to each his own. Pleas ehtough understand tht sometimes you just want to go vacation to relax and get away. this does not mean that Americans are terrible people and only believe in pollyanna cute, its just a vacation for some and not an educational experience.
Jan 2nd, 2001, 11:29 AM
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I have never understood why some people avoid seeing/experiencing things that might move them to tears. Some people I know who live in Washington will never go to the Holocaust museum because they think it would be a "downer." On one of the US threads someone planning a trip to Hawaii said they didn't want to go to Pearl Harbor because they thought it would be depressing. Some people I know won't go see movies that are described as tearjerkers because they don't want to see anything "sad." While everyone is entitled to spend their leisure time and money in their own way, I believe those people who avoid such experiences are missing out on an awful lot in life. Seeing things that are sad makes me appreciate the good in life even more. It's not just that Dachau would be educational -- it's that it's hard to appreciate how fortunate we are if we cannot also appreciate the suffering that others have experienced. I can't imagine not wanting to visit Dachau. But if you want to see it, and no one else does, you should go yourself anyway.
Jan 2nd, 2001, 11:52 AM
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Lisa, you said exactly what I have been thinking. I am glad that I am someone that does look back at history, to remember how people have acted and reacted & how we have treated each other in the past. The lessons of life can be found in the shadows of the past, you shouldn't live in the past but you must learn from it.

I have a friend who is Jewish, she has 2 children, 5 & 9. They have been to the Anne Frank House but my friend did not tell them why they were there, what the house was about or any of the history associated with the muesum. I, IMHO, consider that to be neglect. If parents don't teach their children about their own history, (& she is raising her children in the Jewish tradition), how and what can we expect the schools & society to teach them?? I think we are seeing what happens when we leave the teaching of morals to the schools.
Jan 2nd, 2001, 12:50 PM
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Well I can only speak from personal experience, but at the age of 20 my best friend and I did the backpack thing through Europe. My recollections are all kind of blury, college age, clubs, drinking, hangovers and flirting... with the exception of Dachau.. that place made me cry out loud and I left with one really strong impression of how.. utterly avoidable that whole horrible thing could have been if citizens had been more involved and more informed. I came away with an acute appreciation for activism and for standing up for what you believe in. Going to Dachau was a profound and unforgettable, experience for me, I never need to go there again, and some people may never need to go there at all. But for a frivolous 20 year old, who'd never had to suffer anything worse then no date on a Saturday night. Dachau opened my eyes in a way I will NEVER forget.
Jan 2nd, 2001, 01:14 PM
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I felt the same way when I saw the Bloody Tower of London, the Place de la Concorde in Paris (site of the guillotine), the colosseum in Rome (streamlined mass murder), the poppies everywhere for all the soldiers who died during WWI. Haven't made it to Russia yet though, where the government killed tens of millions of its own citizens, or to China, where tanks mow down people in the squares, or to the former Yugoslavia to view those recent mass graves. So many places, so little time.

The person who said European history is rife with mass murder was absolutely correct. It's practically impossible to avoid some site where it occurred, so if it's mass murder you're interested in, just visit any of the sites listed above. OR, go to former concentration camps. Just more of the same.
Jan 3rd, 2001, 08:51 AM
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Just for the record, I am not the same "xxx" who was so very rude earlier on this thread. My husband and I visited Dachau on our first trip to Germany. Due to the limited time we had in the area, the only day we could visit turned out to be our wedding anniversary. This did not ruin our day nor did it ruin our trip. Certainly, the visit is sobering as one ponders the terrible acts committed there but it did not cast a lingering pall. It was most worth the few hours of time. While Dachau did house prisoners, it was considered to be a training camp for soldiers.
Jan 4th, 2001, 04:19 AM
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Just a few thoughts for you to consider in your decision:

The train and bus trip to Dachau (from Munich center) is at least 45 minutes each way - make sure you plan for that time.

Most of the displays are NOT fully translated into English - you can buy (for 25DM a book with the translations) In my experience, not having ALL the details was probably a good thing (as far as overwhelming yourself), but can be a little frustrating.

There is a video (20min?) that they show in English twice a day. Get your hotel to call to find out when - it would be a shame to miss that - it's 11:30 ish and 2:30 ish I THINK) There is a tour group that gives guided tours in English - fee includes train and bus cost out there. Haven't done that myself but would probably be well worth the 30DM (probably doesn't run year round - depends when you are traveling...)

Dachau is very moving and interesting, however there is a HUGE amount of Hitler and WWII history in and around Munich (it was where Hitler and the Nazis got their start - Dachau is only a small part of Munich's dark past) - it may be possible to do something in regard to it that interests your husband more as well as satisfys your love of history (you know, that men and war thing!) Again, there are tours in English that do that, but again they are seasonal (typically April - Oct)

Finally, it won't ruin your day, but it does take a bit out of you - don't plan to go to the Hofbraeuhaus just afterwards!
Jan 4th, 2001, 05:18 AM
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I don't know about that, Marsha--the "Not going to the Hofbrauhaus afterward" part. We were in Munich for a couple of days in Sept. 1999, right in the middle of Oktoberfest. I wanted to see Dachau, because I've read a lot about the history of the Holocaust and I just felt that it was an obligation, an important thing I do. But I *also* wanted to go to the Oktoberfest that night.

I was feeling that the two things wouldn't work too well on the same day, so I asked about it on the Oktoberfest forum on the Eurotrip discussion board. Several people with some Munich experience said that going to Dachau in the morning and to the 'fest at night would not be a problem--that a festive celebration (and a lot of beers) would be exactly what I'd want after the pain of Dachau.

And they were right. Of course, we didn't go *straight* to the 'fest after returning from our long and difficult visit to the camp; we went back to the hotel first, cleaned up, sat around and talked for awhile, and had dinner at a quiet restaurant off the Marienplatz. After that, though, the contrast of happy people, songs, beer, and lights were precisely the needed contrast following an afternoon of silence and sorrow.

Granted, this may not work for everyone. But it was the advice of several people who were experienced travelers to the area, and it worked for me.

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