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Old 11-15-2007, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Forest City, Iowa
18 posts, read 52,535 times
Reputation: 18

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Hello,

I'm a seventeen-year-old high school senior from Cannon Falls, MN. I will be attending Waldorf College in IA next fall, and am extremely excited! I hope to major in history education.

It has been a dream of mine for some time now to go and visit the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. I was talking with my AP US Gov't teacher the other day and she says after I graduate from college I should go live in Poland for a year...I like the sound of that!

Has anyone on this forum ever been to Auschwitz? I'm taking a independent-study history course specifically on Auschwitz, so I know a good amount about the camp already, which will give me a good background either when I visit during my college years or beyond.

But, has anyone ever visited Auschwitz, and if you have information to share, could you? It's greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Last edited by gizmo980; 11-21-2007 at 07:14 AM.. Reason: Removed icon - per member's request
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
3,589 posts, read 3,466,511 times
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My Polish grandmother visited in the early 1990s and she said it was jaw-droppingly depressing, horrifying, and she said nobody said a word the entire time they were there. There were lots of tears.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:41 AM
 
3,698 posts, read 10,590,742 times
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Instead of going to Auschwitz, you should find a Holocaust survivor in your community to talk to. You'll get a much better picture of what happened there than you would by going to the site itself.

There are a lot of video testimonies available at USC SHOAH FOUNDATION INSTITUTE I University of Southern California, USC's Shoah Foundation website. You can also see about internships at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Museum of the Holocaust in LA (www.lamoth.org – LA Museum of the Holocaust), or the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in DC (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum).

Going to Auschwitz won't teach you nearly as much about what happened there as the organizations and museums listed above will.
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:25 PM
 
2,377 posts, read 5,033,120 times
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Sean,
I disagree...While your ideas are very good,and he should read more and talk to survivors, I feel that "being" in a place is very important. There is a "feeling" about being where an event actually took place, that you can only get by being there. IMHO
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,153 posts, read 26,121,159 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trudeyrose View Post
Sean,
I disagree...While your ideas are very good,and he should read more and talk to survivors, I feel that "being" in a place is very important. There is a "feeling" about being where an event actually took place, that you can only get by being there. IMHO
very true....for all the photos I saw on ground zero it was nothing compared to how I "felt" when I felt I was able to go there...I did not lose anyone but still the "feeling" was over powering

Same feeling when I retraced some of the civil war battlefields my great grand father fought on....

While all the above are totally different scenarios I acknowledge exactly what you mean by the feeling
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:34 PM
 
13,138 posts, read 37,975,866 times
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Deanbean i do think you should go as its always better to personally visit something about History instead of just reading it. Here in the southwest i always go to Ghost Towns and old west Mining Towns (circa 1800's) i read about just like Billy the kids grave as an example. I wish more 17 y/o's cared about History instead of HipHop or Death Metal or playing video games etc.....

Last edited by Six Foot Three; 11-16-2007 at 12:45 PM..
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Kingman AZ
15,370 posts, read 36,147,125 times
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Altho I have never visited Auschwitz or Bergen-Belsen I did visit Camp Struthoff in the Vosge mountains of NE France....I have never been in such an erie place....you could feel the horror there....I think visiting Auschwitz AND talking to survivors would be an excellant project for a history major....Possibly recording some of the survivors experiences.....
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:45 PM
 
Location: in the southwest
13,394 posts, read 42,188,558 times
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The sites and places that Sean listed are very, very important and useful--of course, talking to a survivor is always meaningful. They were there. They experienced it. They, sad to say, know exactly what they are talking about.
Having said that, being at place can bring it all in your face, so to speak.
I took this pic, among others, at Natzweiler-Struthof in France.
This was an "examination table" that the Nazis used.
I do not post this to wallow in the morbidity.
I am just trying to illustrate how *being* at a place really can make history hit you in the gut.
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Kingman AZ
15,370 posts, read 36,147,125 times
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Thats the one I mean......it's been so many years ago I had forgotten the spelling.....Natzweiler-Struthof was the German designation....the French called it simply Le Struthof...I was struck by the beauty of the site in comparrison to the horrors that existed there.....It was used to gain poeple/bodies for studies and experimentation at the University of Strasburg.
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:17 PM
 
12,787 posts, read 18,646,873 times
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Never been to Poland, but I did visit Dachau, which is outside of Munich. It was not in the same league as Auschwitz, but is nonetheless a thoroughly horrifying place. I applaud your interest in going, but you best be psychologically prepared.
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