Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Nazi Concentration Camps near or between Berlin and Prague to visit
Notices

Nazi Concentration Camps near or between Berlin and Prague to visit

Reply

Jun 5th, 2009, 09:26 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 147
Nazi Concentration Camps near or between Berlin and Prague to visit

Our family will be staying in Berlin then driving to Prague and staying there and we would like to see a former Nazi Concentration Camp to educate our kids about the horror of these camps and the Nazi era. There seem to be two which are close by -- one that is in between Dresden and Poland called theresienstadt ghetto or Terezin, and one north of Berlin called Sachsenhausen. Has anyone been to either of these ? Then, there is Buchenwald, which is a few hours out of our way but maybe offers the best glimpse into the horrors of these camps? We were hoping to spend @ 2 hours at one on the day we are leaving Berlin and driving to Prague.

Any advice welcome.

jennifer
hamburger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 5th, 2009, 10:19 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,226
My 17 year old daughter and I went to Sachsenhausen and found it very moving and well presented. The barracks are there as well as many of the other buildings that were used for various, horrid things. The museums there were also excellent. We went as part of a tour with "Insider Tours", and found this to be a good way to get as much information as possible in a short period of time. We would also like to visit Ravensbruck which was the womens' camp nearby. I know they had an exhibition about the women sex slaves in the camp, but I don't know if that is still running.
Mainhattengirl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 5th, 2009, 10:34 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,462
Since Obama has just yesterday visited Buchenwald you might give it a try. I have visited myself many years ago and found it to be very moving.

Terezin, right half way between Dresden and Prague is the other option. Also perfect for your educating your daughter.
Ingo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 6th, 2009, 02:38 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 677
I echo all of Mainhattengirl's comments about Sachenhausen. You may leave moved, and perhaps bewildered. The memory of the visit will stay with you.

If you prefer not to take a tour it is easily done independently. For example, the regular train from Berlin's Hauptbahnhof station to the small town of Oranienburg takes only about 40 minutes. I've only ever walked to the camp from Oranienburg station (about a 25 minute gentle stroll) but I understand there is now a bus service directly linking that station to Sachenhausen.

A few years ago PalenQ started a very, very good thread specifically about this camp. It's a long thread but stick with it as you are almost led through the place and it may help you prepare. I hope my attempt at a link works OK:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ausen-camp.cfm

Bill
billbarr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 12th, 2009, 02:03 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 147
Thanks everyone. Ingo, have you been to Terezin? That is probably what we will do in order to make the most use of our time -- we are only in Berlin two full days (three nights) and we'd like to spend that time exploring the sites right in Berlin proper.

I looked at the Terezin web site, but do you know if they have do-it-yourself tours, can you just pay an entrance fee and wander around?
hamburger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 13th, 2009, 01:44 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,462
Yes, I have been to Terezin. It is very moving.

Did you see this website?
http://www.pamatnik-terezin.cz/showdoc.do?docid=166

Guided tours are to book in advance (In my experience you can still join a guided tour when you just show up without reservation). Most visitors do just what you want - pay the admission fee and wander around.
Ingo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 15th, 2009, 05:30 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 147
Thanks Ingo. Great website and info. I think you are going to be my official source for info for my Berlin-Prague roadtrip.
hamburger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 15th, 2009, 10:01 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,462
LOL!
Ingo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 16th, 2009, 01:06 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 185
I've been to Bergen-Belsen, Buchenwald (during the GDR era), Sachsenhausen and Dachau. They were each moving in their own way. Buchenwald, at that time, emphacized the political prisoners. Of course there were propaganda motives for that, but I thought it was important to point out the wide variety of things people were sent to death camps for. Sachsenhausen sort of does this, as it talks about LesBiGay prisoners a bit. Bergen-Belsen had a great visitor's center. I have heard that the signage at Buchenwald is still all in German, don't know how much the emphasis has changed.
I think Terezin would be interesting because it began as a neighborhood, then a fenced-in ghetto, which was cleaned up so it passed (!) a Red Cross inspection.

The thing that has always 'gotten' me at every camp, besides gloves and lampshades made of skin and the ovens or showers or whatever, are the displays of the networks of camps, showing how well-planned the whole thing was. That people could devote their energy to such logistics sickens me.

Related to the planning, and in central Berlin, is Topographie of Terror http://www.topographie.de/en/ort.htm Part of it was closed for a while, but it's been open again for a few months. It is the site of torture chambers for political prisoners, but also the HQ of the Gestapo and SS. Throw in a long stretch of the Berlin wall, and you're set.
saacnmama is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 16th, 2009, 08:07 PM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 147
Thanks saacnmama. We will definitely make it to the Topographie of Terror and Terezin.
hamburger is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 17th, 2009, 06:20 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 785
Another vote for Sachsenhausen. We were there last year in the dead of winter, and the experience was profound and haunting and will stay with you forever. I've visited Dachau twice, but Sachsenhausen had much more of an impact on me, I don't know why.

As billbarr said, it's very easy to get to by public transport from Berlin. You can easily spend an entire morning or afternoon there.

And, rent an audioguide, it was very good. I think it's included in the admission price, if I remember correctly. You'll just need to leave a driver's license or something else as collateral.
NanBug is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 23rd, 2009, 07:32 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 185
What are your kids reading to prepare? I've heard "Mouse" is really good, and it is a cartoon. You don't mention your kids' ages, but if they're close to Anne Frank's age at her death, I would think her diary would interest them.
And please do report back and say how it all went!
saacnmama is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:59 AM.