Saturday, August 10, 2019

AUSCHWITZ AN AMUSEMENT PARK ?



When I saw that our tour also included a visit to Auschwitz my heart sank ! Long forgotten memories suddenly came up again. As a child and adolescent, I had seen and heard so much of it and attended an exhibition with the school, as there was no Auschwitz Museum back then. I remembered people coming back from there as skeletons,  but as a kid I did not understand anything, that came later when we visited this exhibition. It was terrible. I was in such a shock that I got a high fever and had nightmares, I saw skeletons with huge eyes standing in each corner of my room. So I told our guide that I would wait in the bus or next to the bus along with others who did not want to go either.

To my surprise our guide told me that there was a nice restaurant where I could eat something and wait or walk around in the park ! A restaurant and a park ??  I had imagined an ugly dark place only with these barracks around and nothing else. I didn't know that 70 years later it had been transformed completely and was now a "Museum" which should teach the world that "such an horror should never happen again".

I think that all over the world, it's known that Auschwitz has become a symbol of terror, genocide, and the Shoah. Over 1.1 million men, women and children were killed here under atrocious circumstances.

And now ???

Auschwitz is the biggest tourist attraction in Poland, with over a million visitors each year, but whereas a typical museum pays tribute to beauty or knowledge, this one is all about hatred and intolerance and what it can lead to. And still a lot of people didn't get it.

Auschwitz has also become a big business. The entrance fee is around 30 Euros. More expensive with a guide. Imagine a family of only 4 persons, not everybody can afford this horror show.

When we arrived, I was surprised to see a nice parking place with huge trees around, and I wondered if the trees had seen what happened here over 74 years ago, when the allies finally discovered this place.




A parking like for every attraction park





a lot of buses from everywhere



I saw a barack from far and felt cold



People chatting and laughing, sitting on benches. Children ran around, it was amazing that there was not a playground !



Memorials of all countries in the world stood there, nobody was very interested.



Some people were interested in the commemorative plaques



I watched the entrance. People of all ages were there, old and young couples, even little children !



Outside a map of the concentration camp



and this nice restaurant, where I had a coffee, I couldn't eat. Here it was rather empty but then it filled up with people coming out of the camp. Most of them where smiling or even laughing I only saw one old lady who cried.



That's all I could see from outside and honestly for me it was enough !

I talked to a lady who was probably as old as me and she told me that her mother had been here and survived by miracle. She was so sad of what she saw here ! Even showers to refresh the tourists.



At least one Israeli tourist complained about the mist-spraying showers,  that “they looked like the showers that the Jews were forced to take before entering the gas chambers.”

The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum said it has installed sets of “showers” at the entrance  which are meant to cool off tourists from the summer heat !! Business is business !

One of my group told me what she has seen inside. People taking selfies in front of the gas chambers ! Laughing at the hairs which lay there and found that they were good to make wiggs !



Having fun out of the windows, riding on a cross, balancing on the rails of the train who took the victims to the camp, having fun with the shower or make the "Heil Hitler" sign ! The worst was the mini skirt ! Although I haven't seen a "souvenir shop" it must have been outside.

As I had no pictures of what the lady had told me I just googled "Tourist behaviour in Auschwitz" and this was the result.

I was disgusted, I was shocked, no wonder that there are still the same attrocities going on ! Nobody has learned anything ! The only thing perhaps, how to make money ! I wonder where all this money goes ??  



Linking to SOCS Linda.G.Hill

9 comments:

Andrew said...

€30 is very expensive. As soon as you mentioned showers, I was horrified. While tourist behaviour may be poor, the only way some people can deal with seeing such horror is with humour. I am surprised there were young children there. What on earth can they make of it.

jabblog said...

I agree with you. It's a travesty to turn such a terrible place into a theme park. Years ago when people visited they would say that it was silent, and no birds sang. It was a sombre, sobering place, as it should be.

I worry each day about the state of this world and the attitudes of people who deny or disbelieve the Holocaust. From there leads repetition and already anti-Semitism is being expressed more openly.

Brexit, and those who champion it, has a lot to answer for. It has brought out the worst in so many and it will not get better.

Penelope Notes said...

Those mist-spraying showers show a lack of awareness and sensitivity to the horrific situations humankind has wroth upon itself. The juxtaposition of laughter amid a museum of true horror shows a society desensitized to a dangerous and frightening degree because, as recent events show, all this could happen again to certain groups. Lest we forget!

Maggie said...

Gattina,

I was so sad reading this. It makes me fearful that we have not learned from our past. When I was in high school, we saw a film entitled “Night and Fog” about the horrors of the concentration camps. I was horrified. The images never left me. To see such a place reduced to a frivolous tourist attraction is heartbreaking. I am speechless. Forgetting our past endangers our future. We are on a dangerous precipice.

wisps of words said...

I have a lump in my throat. This is awful.

It is disgusting... "Selfies" being taken, in such a place.

All of the for-the-tourists things.

Disgusting....

-sigh-

Disgusting...

I'm shivering.....

Unbelievable...

-sigh-

Wendy said...

How awful. I can understand the need for a refreshment area, but showers? How ridiculous. And why would you want to take young children there? Not somewhere I would want to visit.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Oh Ingrid that makes me almost physically ill to learn about the lack of respect. I had nightmares as a girl after I read Anne Frank’s “Diary “ and can only imagine how someone who lived through that time as a child at closer to it all , like you did, would feel seeing this horrid place. I would have had a hard time controlling my temper at the behavior of those tourists . I am so sorry as I am afraid that many of them were probably “Ugly Americans” , as that kind of behavior seems to be encouraged by our so called leader just now.

Maribeth said...

Oh, this makes me sick. It is unfortunate that this part of history is being turned into a Carnival! No one will learn from the past. Oh, my dear, I do not think I would have gone in either.
I am very sad about this.

William Kendall said...

Disgusting is an understatement.

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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