Scrapbookpages Blog

July 28, 2015

Is there any standard at all for carrying oneself through a museum honoring 4.1 million lost souls?

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 8:07 am

My blog post today is a tribute to an excellent piece of writing, which I read this morning in the Irish Times online.

This is the headline of the article:

Travel Writer Auschwitz: “I remained ashamedly stoic, wondering ‘why did we come here?'”

Underneath a photo of the gatehouse at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, I read this quote: “Is there any standard at all for carrying oneself through a museum honoring 4.1 million lost souls?”

I would like to make Kelly Konya, the author of the article, feel better by pointing out that it was not 4.1 million Jews who were murdered at Auschwitz — it was only 1.1 million people.  The number of 4 million, which was given at the International Nuremberg Trial of the German war criminals, was a gross exaggeration. The number has been officially cut down to 1.1 million, which includes 900,000 Jews, several thousand Gypsies and a few miscellaneous others.

The article includes an excellent photo of the Auschwitz-Birkenau gatehouse taken from an unusual angle.  I took the photo below on one of my three trips to the camp.

My 2005 photo of the Auschwitz-Birkenau gate house

My 2005 photo of the gate house entrance into the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

This quote is from the article:

I knew that going to Poland for the sole purpose of seeing Auschwitz was problematic, and our roundabout trek from Kraków to the site underscored this fact. The woman at the airport gave us confused directions; the Starbucks barista put us on the wrong bus entirely. It was as if the town itself wanted to forget that the camps were there.

“the Starbucks barista”?  There was a time when the idea of a Starbucks, located anywhere near Auschwitz, would have been considered unthinkable.

This quote is also from the article:

The unexplainable attraction to sites of mass death or suffering is labeled “thanatourism,” or dark tourism. Ground Zero in New York City, the Dachau, Mathausen, and Terezin concentration camps, and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Cambodia are only a few of such places that tourists flock to each year. Some psychologists believe the appeal of dark sites is hidden beneath a human desire to feel more alive. According to Dr. Philip Stone of the Institute for Dark Tourism Research, people feel anxious before visiting dark places, “and then better when they leave, glad that it’s not them.”

Whatever my reason for visiting Auschwitz, I did not leave feeling alive, nor did I satisfy any morbid intrigue. In fact, walking through Auschwitz left me feeling anything but full of life; instead, I felt demoralized and more alienated by humanity than ever before.

4 Comments »

  1. I wonder why Starbucks is at Auschwitz…? I don’t suppose it could be anything to do with the fact that Starbucks is owned by 2 zionist jews in the Jewess of A who send millions of dollars every year to Israel…………?
    In England, Starbucks was seriously criticised recently for not having paid a red cent of tax in England since they opened here. However, that it also the fault of the british politicians who allowed this to happen. All companies must file tax returns so one has to wonder who in the British Inland Revenue department allowed the tax return to go thru unchallenged since all earnings must be shown less legitimate expenses and the tax is payable on the profits (which for Starbucks is in the millions of dollars) at 20-40%.
    The individual citizen is always targetted; the multi-million dollar corporations do what they like……….. and get away with it, at least in this life…..

    Comment by Scott — July 29, 2015 @ 11:19 am

  2. Are you serious 1.1 million people dying at auscwitz the official count they say is under 70 thousand and half of them might have been jews so for you to come off with that 1.1 million you really have to do more investigation on your own Auschwitz was not a death camp it was a work camp anyone with any good research behind them knows that. I would think it’s time to get your facts straight and start telling people the truth of what really happened during this time period known as the holo cost.

    Comment by jrizoli — July 28, 2015 @ 11:09 am


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