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June 12, 2015

Should the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp be rebuilt for tourists?

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 10:48 am
The ruins of Auschwitz-Birkenau

The ruins of Auschwitz-Birkenau in the winter of 1988

My blog post today was inspired by a comment made by one of the regular readers of my blog:

Your picture of the Birkenau ruins made me think about the possible reconstruction of the wooden barracks and Krema. […]  Although costly I am sure there is plenty of money available and then they can go the whole hog and employ people in costume to give it more authenticity.

When I began my travels, many years ago, the first place that I went, was to Boston. I took several tours to historic places that had been restored. There were people playing the part of colonial residents, who were available to answer questions. They remained in character at all times, using the language of historic times and pretending not to know anything about modern devices and language.

This could be done at Auschwitz, and today’s young students could learn a lot from this.

The train tracks, that go through the “Gate of Death” at Birkenau are still there. I am sure that trains could still go from the main station in the town of Auschwitz and enter the camp through the “Gate of Death.” This could give young students today a real thrill, as the train comes down from a steep ramp and enters the camp. Heinrich Himmler was standing on this ramp when he got the idea of building a camp at Birkenau.

SS men at Auschwitz wore their uniforms at all times

SS men at Auschwitz wore their uniforms at all times

There could be actors, wearing pristine uniforms, playing the part of the SS men, as shown in the photo above, which is from the Auschwitz Album. This would give students an understanding of the German ideal of cleanliness and order.  Hint: the Nazis believed that the Jews were dirty.

Hungarian Jews at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Hungarian Jews at Auschwitz-Birkenau

The Nazis took photos of the Jews at Auschwitz, in order to show that they looked completely different from the German people, and for this reason, they didn’t belong in Germany.  But where were they supposed to go. No country would take them in, not even the good ole USA.

I previously blogged about why the Germans hated the Jews on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/der-dolchstoss-and-the-road-to-the-holocaust/

This is allegedly a replica of a guard tower at Auschwitzl

This is allegedly a replica of a guard tower at Auschwitz

The Auschitz-Birkenau camp should be restored to the way that it actually looked when it was a death camp for Jews.  Guard towers, like the one shown in the photo, were not there when the Jews were Holocausted.  In fact, in the 1940ies, the word Holocaust did not mean the killing of 6 million Jews.  How many students today know that?

However, I believe that the ruins of the gas chambers should be left alone.  I blogged about the ruins on this blog post: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/at-auschwitz-birkenau-the-execution-chambers-are-now-roped-off-and-in-ruins/

A brick stove that heated a barracks building that is gone now

A brick stove heated a barracks building that is gone now

The 425 acre Birkenau camp is now filled with the brick stoves that once heated the wooden barrack buildings.

This photo shows the uniforms that the prisoners wore and the uniforms of the Soviet liberators of the camp

This photo shows the uniforms of the prisoners and the uniforms of the Soviet liberators

Actors wearing the uniforms of the prisoners or the uniforms of the liberators could re-enact the liberation of the camp in January 1945. Little children could re-enact the Jewish children walking out of the Birkenau death camp.  Eva Moses Kor, a child survivor of Birkenau, who is still alive, could be a consultant for this re-enactment.

This photo of the children marching out of Birkenau is on the Wikipedia page about the liberation

This photo of the children marching out of Birkenau is on the Wikipedia page about the liberation

The best view of the Auschwitz-Birkeanu ruins is from the gate tower; I took the photo below in 1998 when my tour guide and myself were the only people there, and it was raining. The barracks in the foreground are reconstructions.

My 1998 photo of Auschwitz-Birkenau taken from the top of the gate tower

My 1998 photo of Auschwitz-Birkenau taken from the top of the gate tower

Today’s young students who are taken on trips to Auschwitz should be made to understand that the world was quite different back then.  I know — I was alive then.

There were many people in American back then who were living in tar paper shacks without central heat and without running water inside the house; there were many Americans who were worse off than the prisoners at Birkenau, including me.

The photo below shows how the Birkenau camp looked in 2005. The wooden barracks buildings are all gone and there is nothing left but the stoves that once heated the barracks.

My 2005 photo of the ruins of Birkeanau

My 2005 photo of the ruins of Birkeanau

Fence around the Birkenau camp is original

Fence around the Birkenau camp is original

In the photo above, note the one building (on the far left side) that is still standing. Imagine if each of the brick chimneys in the photo had a restored wooden barrack building for tourists to visit.

Currently, the 425 acre camp is mostly empty with very few buildings still standing.

My photos below show what it looked like in 2005 when I last visited the memorial site.

Chimneys for the stoves in the barracks which have been torn down

Chimneys for the stoves in the barracks which have been torn down

Original fence around the Birkenau camp

Original fence around the Birkenau camp

Ruins at the former men's camp at Birkenau

Ruins at the former men’s camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau

I took this view from the Birkenau tower in 1998

I took this view from the Birkenau tower in 2005

In the photo above, you can see tourists entering the restored section of Birkenau where they can see what the original barracks buildings looked like. I took this photo early in the morning before the crowds of tourists arrived.

11 Comments »

  1. mantap gan perkembangan teknologi sekarang, , klw kita gak ikuti bisa ketinggalan kereta , Aerith

    Comment by jtxmisc — June 13, 2015 @ 8:42 pm

  2. As the above hostile comments of TIM and WHO DARES WINGS show such a “rebuilding” would transform a place of horror and sorrow in a Disneyland like place. I have had opportunities to meet some real Auschwitz survivor who hold the opinion that there ought to be only silence in order to properly respect all the victims. At least AUSCHWITZ should be put under UNESCO protection.

    Comment by Wolf Murmelstein — June 13, 2015 @ 12:42 am

    • Oh yeah. Well guess what Ava. I’ve met a real survivor from Guatemala who is Mayan. He works for me. He can’t go back home for fear he might end up dead at the hands of the government down there. You wouldn’t know that Karen,because you don’t hear the first damn thing I said. You probably didn’t say anything,because jews are the only people that matter. Answer that question. Why is it jews don’t give a shit about other races that are being wiped out. While we’re at it,how you don’t take an interest in the Mayans and Montagnards. Now where the hell was I getting hostile? Speak up Susie . I want specifics. Was I hostile because I don’t agree with history on the holocaust? That ain’t hostile. It’s called exercising my right to free speech. Do speak up sugar britches

      Comment by Tim — June 13, 2015 @ 1:23 am

    • Wolfie of course Auschwitz is already under UNESCO protection as a world heritage site and has been listed for many years. It is central to the foundations of the western societal construct post 1945, The only thing FG is suggesting is that even more pilgrims would come if they added a bit more entertainment for the masses like a character dressed as Dr Mengele , pointing left and right. After all the Jews have been in control of Tinseltown for years; they know all about Shoabusiness.

      Comment by peter — June 13, 2015 @ 3:08 am

    • The victims have been respected for 70 years. Now it is time for young people to learn some history.

      Comment by furtherglory — June 13, 2015 @ 6:26 am

      • Only people who already had studied Shoah history in the context of WWI, Versailles treaty, rise of Nazism and WWII can really understand Auschwitz and other Extermiantion sites. “Pilgrims” who need some form of entertainement should visit Disneyland,

        Comment by Wolf Murmelstein — June 13, 2015 @ 7:28 am

        • Hey bow wow boy. Your such an expert. Enlighten us. Give us the exculpatory evidence that will free the jews on their dilemma and prove the rest of world wrong . You’re flinging WW1 and WW2,but you’ve made no point about it. When leave comments from now on,you keep my name the f**k outta your comments. You have something to say,say it to me. Don’t say anything behind my back. That shit don’t fly. Your can also keep your bitch ass mouth shut when it comes to me hating people. I’ve got my opinions and I’ll weigh the evidence myself. I think everybody here knows I went to ‘Nam. War. That’s what hate is all about. You’d never understand though. Trust me boy,you don’t ever want to go to that dark place where pure hate propagates. I pride myself on being able to love anybody. I’m gauranteed as a human being to free speech and thought . If you don’t like that,go take a flyin f**kin leap through a donut hole . All those people in those countries that have holocaust laws,are nothing but lap dogs. They don’t have the balls to speak up and say the government regulating speech and thought is wrong. I’ve no respect for people like that. I don’t hate em. Hell I don’t know them so how can I hate them. I’ve just no respect for them. I learned a long time back,freedom ain’t free

          Comment by Tim — June 13, 2015 @ 3:36 pm

      • Right on ! However this is my question. How can you teach children alternate explinations of history,when you’ve got liberal hammerheads at the school board that accept only one explination. I saw something a few months back. A teacher in Jersey forced her 3rd grade ( yes 3rd grade) students to send get well cards to a convicted cop killer . He has some medical issue. With liberal pukes like this for teachers,our students will only be given one side of the story.

        Comment by Tim — June 13, 2015 @ 2:58 pm

  3. The Holocaust Hoax Exposed – Steven Anderson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rhGMCYWqKI

    Comment by who dares wings — June 12, 2015 @ 1:13 pm

    • I like the one where this pastor lied to a rabbi about the real movie he was making. The jew is threatening legal action,because he was lied to by this pastor. I’m surprised the Heb didn’t know it was a lie to start with. Hell the damn jews are the biggest liars outta the bunch

      Comment by Tim — June 12, 2015 @ 1:47 pm

  4. Opportunities . Remember the movie “Westworld”? Set it up like that. The guests could play the part of the nazi staff. The robots ( just like the ones in Westworld ) could be the jews. Some of the guests could take part in the gassing. Before the gassing,a Kodak moment. The guest could be photographed wearing their nazi uniform shaking hands with one of the robot jews. They could be looking at the camera smiling giving the “thumbs up”. Give the guest something to show the folks back home. Souvenir shop. You can sell tshirts that say, ” grandma and grandpa went to holocaust world. All I got was a crappy tshirt”. Possibilities for expansion are endless. Jews could make a boatload of money here.

    Comment by Tim — June 12, 2015 @ 12:50 pm


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