Holocaust Memorials: 2006
There are many WWII & Holocaust memorials/sights in Europe (e.g. Dachau , Anne Frank's house). They provide travelers powerful opportunities to learn from the greatest horrors of the 20th century. Share your experiences and suggestions so others can heed the wish of the the victims of the holocaust…that we never forget.
Please Note: This topic was previously known as "Nazi Sights."
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Auschwitz- A Must!
For anyone even slightly interested in seeing holocaust sights, Auschwitz is an unforgettable sight. Plan to spend a day there, and its easily accessible from Krakow (a beautiful city, one worth visiting!) by train or bus. Auschwitz I is a museum and Auschwitz II (Birkenau) is the site where the majority of the mass murders took place. Anyone who has seen pictures of Auschwitz will get chills when you walk into Birkenau. It's very much the same as the Nazi's left it. Some barracks are in ruins and the gas chambers were knocked over before the allies came (they're still in piles of rubble surround by what is essentially caution tape) making it all very real. There is no mock reconstruction of the buildings here. The swampy area behind the gas chambers is where the ashes were dumped. Our guide said that if you walk back there, occasionally one can find human bones protruding from the earth. I was never in a more spiritually dense place. Everyone must visit here.
NY USA Wed 11/01/2006
Dachau in February
I visited Dachau for the first time last February, arriving at 9:00 am on a snowy Sunday morning. The camp was empty, covered with snow, empty except for me and thousands of memories. It was a moving experience, to walk alone and to stand in the creamatorium for perhaps 20 minutes in silence. All you can feel is sadness, respect, and wonder of how we can as humans be so equal, but so intent on pretending we're not.
Dallas, TX USA Mon 09/18/2006
My best friend and I visited Dachau today and like previously stated, no matter your religion, nationality, or beliefs, I believe if your human it will change you forever. I too got sick at one point and the museum pictures were too much for me to handle. I did learn alot of history however that I would have never learned otherwise. Amazing experience I will never regret!
Tallahassee - I'm still in Germany!, FL USA Wed 07/26/2006
Have visited several actual camps and many of the museums and memorials to holocaust. Can't imagine a better, more complete one than Yad Vashem in Jerusalem
Atlanta, GA USA Fri 07/14/2006
We Agree I Think
Dear 6/06 No Name - Based on your dictionary excerpt, I think we're agreeing re "The Holocaust" vs a holocaust. The original poster below seemed to think that this posting site is related to holocausts in general so I was trying to point that out. This section of the GW refers to "The Holocaust" caused by the Nazis as well as memorial sites related to "The Holocaust" caused by the Nazis.
Grand Rapids, MI USA Tue 07/04/2006
In response to Jana, here is the definition of 'holocaust':
hol·o·caust Pronunciation Key (hl-kôst, hl-) n.
1. Great destruction resulting in the extensive loss of life, especially by fire.
1. Holocaust The genocide of European Jews and others by the Nazis during World War II: "Israel emerged from the Holocaust and is defined in relation to that catastrophe" (Emanuel Litvinoff).
2. A massive slaughter: "an important document in the so-far sketchy annals of the Cambodian holocaust" (Rod Nordland).
3. A sacrificial offering that is consumed entirely by flames.
Imperial War Museum in London
I agree with the two other authors who posted comments on the Imperial War Museum in London, it is definately worth a visit. I also agree completely with Jamie (if I spelt it right) The memorial in Washington DC is better, but do yourself a favor and get your tickets in advance, or you may very well not get in at all. The Imperial War Museum, is great for War buffs as it covers virtually ever war ever fought throughout the world.
Beverly, MA USA Sun 06/18/2006
I have been fortunate to travel to several concentration camps throughout Europe. It seems that Dachau seems to be the most frequented, as it is so easily accessible from Munich. However I found Mauthausen Concentration Camp, outside of Linz, Austria to be one of the most emotional. It is pretty difficult to access, especially if your coming from Salzburg. Plan on overnighting in Linz if at all possible, as you want to allow plenty of time to see the memorial. The camp is up a few miles on top of a hill over the town of Mauthausen. It cannot be seen from the town. The camp looks like a giant stone prison, with electric barbed wire fencing. The todes stiege is a very emotional site. The actual translation is the stairs of death. Prisoners were forced to carry large stones on their backs while tied together up a quarter of a mile staircase (which by the way is very poorly structured, very uneven) These stones were used to expand the camp. Some prisoners were forced to jump from the top of the cliff to the rock quarry below, just for fun. I have seen several photos, and many of the prisoners held hands as they jumped to their death. The crematorium and gas chamber, are located beneath the jail and are all so well intact, it is very frightening. Please is you have a chance to visit this camp, don't pass it up, it is an experience you will never forget. Buchenwald in Germany is also a good memorial to visit, it is two camps in one, the second camp is called the Special Camp 2, where prisoners were starved to death or shot in the woods. If anyone wants to share any feedback or ask any questions, feel free to contact me.
Beverly, MA USA Sun 06/18/2006
Sheila - Um, I think you're a little confused. Perhaps your guide in Eastern Europe used the word 'holocaust' but, the context of this Graffiti Wall, The Holocaust refers to the methodical imprisonment and killing by German Nazis of millions of people who were Jewish, gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, gay, political dissidents, etc. This happened during World War II.
Grand Rapids, MI USA Sun 05/28/2006
I just returned from Belgrade where I took the Holocaust tour. It was well worth it and a good way to see the city. It was sad to see the death and destruction the Americans caused the Serbians in the Holocaust. I was relieved to know they don't hold much ill will toward Americans after we bombed their hospitals. (The maternity ward took a direct hit. I can't begin to tell you how horrible I felt being an American who supported our President and troupes. Now I know how it must have been to be a supporter of the Nazi's in Germany.
Guess I'm no better.
NJ USA Sun 05/21/2006
The Paris Holocaust Memorial on the eastern end of Ile de la Cite near the bridge to Ile St Louis is small but effective. The goal is to limit one's access to the world around you so you get a small sense of what it was like to be imprisoned. Of course, I wasn't being starved and certainly wasn't in danger of be gassed. Still, the (temporary) limits on my freedom were effective. Please take 15 minutes from shopping at the nearby trinket shops to recall and remember the horror and death faced by 12 million Europeans - Jewish, gay, gypsies/Roma, Jehovah's Witnesses, mentally or physically handicapped, and so on. Never forget!
Grand Rapids, MI USA Sun 05/14/2006
paris nr Notre Dame Cathedral
The memorial just behind Notre Dame is incredible. Take the time to visit, there is no charge. the experience is very moving.
Ca USA Tue 05/09/2006
In response to a positing about the Dachau S-Bahn stop being unavailable - I used it yesterday (4/30/06) so it is most definately back in action.
USA Mon 05/01/2006