Skip to comments.Should Auschwitz Be Left to dDecay?
Posted on 01/26/2009 11:35:43 AM PST by nickcarraway
On the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day, two experts on Auschwitz argue for and against the idea that the former Nazi death camp should be allowed to crumble away.
Historian Robert Jan Van Pelt says that once the last survivor has died it should be left for nature to reclaim, and eventually forgotten.
But former Polish Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, once an inmate, says Auschwitz must be preserved to bear witness to the fate of its victims.
ROBERT JAN VAN PELT, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR
Many Auschwitz survivors have told me that a visit to the camp can teach little to those who were not imprisoned there. Their view is best summarised in the text of Alain Resnais' celebrated movie Night and Fog (1955), written by the camp survivor Jean Cayrol. As the camera pans across the empty barracks, the narrator warns the viewer that these remains do not reveal the wartime reality of "endless, uninterrupted fear". The barracks offer no more than "the shell, the shadow".
Should the world marshal enormous resources to preserve empty shells and faint shadows?
Certainly, as long as there are survivors who desire to return to the place of their suffering, it is appropriate that whatever remains of the camps is preserved.
Many of the same survivors who have told me that I can derive little knowledge from a visit to the camp acknowledge that it was good for them to return to the place, anchoring an all-encompassing nightmare back to a particular place.
The world owes it to them not to close such an opportunity for a return. As long as one survivor is still alive, the remains of the camp should remain available.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.bbc.co.uk ...
The United Nations might need to help, but it should be preserved....
oh, does this mean “out of sight, out of mind?” put it down the memory hole? I question the motives.
I doubt anyone told him that. I knew very little about the Holocaust when I first visited Dachau in the 1980's. The visit impacted me so much that I returned over a dozen times and learned everything I could about the Holocaust and, specifically Dachau. To this day, I speak about the place when it is appropriate to bring it up in conversation.
Decay... as opposed to “kept in perfect working order?” Sometimes a decrepit monument has just as much evocative power, as at Angkor Wat.
This is a very good question. On the one hand, we should never forget that evil, and how coldly it was done. On the other hand, if a people wallow in victimization, or guilt, then they never move forward and progress. Whatever we decide, the future will ultimately judge us.
Many Auschwitz survivors have told me that a visit to the camp can teach little to those who were not imprisoned there.
For what it’s worth...and I can’t EVEN BEGIN to imagine what survivors experienced.....I found the visit SOBERING and UNFORGETABLE. I took a great interest in touring all of the places mentioned in ‘Schindler’s Ark’ and after seeing ‘Schindler’s List (based on it). Personally, I think it should be a requirement for all high-school aged kids to see....and I believe it is required by Polish authorities that theirs do. JMHO
Bronze It ...
Preserve it, not so it is not forgotten, but so it cannot be denied.
I, too, visited Dachau in the early 80’s. The profound Spiritual impact I felt that day has never left me. Burned into my soul.
I would say impact is an appropriate description. Like a hammer blow of horror and despair.
I think the camps should be preserved.
Or perhaps change the enscription to note that these “liberators” were able to take and enslave Berliners by use of materiel provided by the Western Allies, but the atrocities committed, such as the mass-scale rapes, were entirely Soviet.
A year after the battle of Waterloo, bone collectors picked up the skeletons, then ground them up to be used as fertilizer in England.
In truth, there is little that is special about the Holocaust. It was not the only industrial genocide, nor was it unmatched in its inhumanity and brutality. Neither the Stalinist nor Maoist mass murders are forgotten, but there is no great lesson there, either, other than that tyranny is evil.
Except to the Jews. It was their final warning that they could never again rely on the good graces of others when threatened, and only by their hard work and diligence could they survive. It is an important lesson that should not be lost on us as well.
78% of American (liberal) Jews learned nothing by voting for you know who.
Elie Wiesel lost all of his money to Madoff but I will not cry. Wiesel’s fawning over Hussein Obama is so disgusting it is not to believed.
Would history be re-written then because no one would be around to say they were there or to show where the camp was?
If we let the memorial cease to exist, we will take a great burden on our conscience. We will trample upon the testament of the victims.
I hope to be a false prophet in saying that, but if we allow Auschwitz-Birkenau to disappear from the face of the Earth, we might just be opening a way for a similar evil to return.
Prof Wladyslaw Bartoszewski is a historian, author, diplomat and former Auschwitz inmate.
I don't need to say more than that.
Once it is gone the Islamo-fascists and their ilk will claim it never was.
Maybe Iran can help fund it. It would be educational for them. That way, they can see it was a real place, a real event, real history, and affected real people. Barry can meet with them without precondition and maybe it will become part of his volunteer reach-out effort.
Apparently, physical existence and living (still) memory of the horrors committed there are lost on humanity - well, at least on the new ‘progressives’ in control of this country. Their manner, speech and newly formed plans are inching towards the very circumstances and events that perpertrated the environment for these horrors to occur all those decades ago.
??? What? Elie Wiesel is the big Holocaust nobel prize curator or something. He is slobbering over someone who has Hamas people working for him. Hamas wants to kill Jews and Israelis. 78% of (liberal) American Jews voted for someone who has close ties to Hamas. Do you need more?
See another story here about Jews in Sweden being pelted with eggs and tear gas by Muslims.
Great idea - if approached, I bet the childish madman Ahmadinajhad, in a fit of pique, would fund preservation.
Someone needs to ask Iran, regardless. It would make a point if nothing else.
The Iranians and other Moooslims wouldn’t mind, since they know it’s a fabrication, in the first place...
Something as historically significant as this should be preserved for future generations to see, first hand and up close, what power in the hands of evil men can do.
The building that is blown-up is the crematoria at Birkenau. The case chamber with the smoke stack is at Auschwitz adjacent to where “Boss” (I believe)was hung. The crematorium is also ajacent to the living quarters of the camp commander. The picture of the wall is next to the building in Auscwitz that was used for summary executions.
When I was there one could feel the evil in the place.
But - it has nothing to do with preserving the death camps for future generations to see what a real madman is capable of.
What would they do, put houses there?
I cannot imagine how haunted that place must be.
Someone needs to ask Iran, regardless. It would make a point if nothing else.
Thanks. Who's gonna do it? Hillary? Fat chance (pun intended).
I wish I could afford to go.
While it’s vital we look ahead, it is also important we remember the past, and keeping places like this around will give a physical presence to the horrific evil of that time.
case = gas chamber
I suggest, if you ever get the chance, to visit one of those places.
Then not only will you be able to imagine it. YOU WILL KNOW.
I meant: ‘What Does That Rant Have To Do With The Topic Of This Thread’?
It’s ghastly, but it is a monument to the awful things people - and governments in particular - can do.
National Socialist Obama needs it to remain standing. It’s his model for the future of his political enemies.
hell, they’ll build a mosque on the site and claim mohammed slept there and it is the ___th holiest site in all of Islam
It should be preserved as a warning to future generations.
For me the most stunning aspect of a visit to Auschwitz is the huge size of the camps. It really gives you a sense of the scale of the tragedy just walking from one end of Auschwitz II-Birkenau to the other.
Weasel's own writings are not to be believed either. He berates the world for the Holocaust when he himself did not believe survivors who told him face-to-face about the horrors that were happening.
Psychologists have a term for folks that blame others for their own guilt. Mr. Weasel is one of those.
And yes, the spelling is intentional.
Surely #42 is one of the most despicable and ignorant posts I’ve ever seen on Free Republic.
Isn’t that the Soviet War Memorial in Berlin?
I visited Dachau twice during my tours in Germany. I found it very sterile, almost anstiseptic. Most of the camp is gone and it was almost impossible for me to visualize what had occured there.
Yes, in the Tiergarten.
I can’t tell you specifically why, ops, but I just had a terrible feeling when I was there. I have never forgotten it.
Observing the punk rockers at the beer garden afterwards helped take my mind off from it. There was one girl? who had a big, live rat apparently living inside her chopped up sweat shirt. It would crawl out her her forward area, perch on her shoulder, then head back in. WTF??? WAITER, ANOTHER ROUND... :-)
“For me the most stunning aspect of a visit to Auschwitz is the huge size of the camps. It really gives you a sense of the scale of the tragedy just walking from one end of Auschwitz II-Birkenau to the other.”
I have never been there, but a couple friends have. And they said the same thing: The immense size of the place just left them stunned. That was the word they both used: “Stunned.” And they didn’t know each other, and, as far as I know, never met each other. I just thought it was interesting that they both used the same word, and that both of them, in slightly different ways, said there is no word or sords to accurately describe the enormity of the thing (the place and what went on there). One of them, a woman in her forties when she went there, said she started shaking uncontrollably as she stood near one of the buildings, as if she had been dipped into an ice cold vat (she went there in the summer). I remember her saying there was not a sound to be heard, just the whisper of a breeze.
These are the words of an ignorant Holocaust-revisionist swine. Are you such a person, or are you quoting someone else?
See if your ward nurse can find a copy of Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt (yes, a Jew), and maybe a nurse-aide or Red Cross worker can read it to you...perhaps even explain it to you (alas, it contains no drawing or pictures.
It was not the only industrial genocide, nor was it unmatched in its inhumanity and brutality.
It is most important to us because we have such impeccable records.
Neither the Stalinist nor Maoist mass murders are forgotten...
But so little is known of them because they were never conquered, their records never captured and scoured by historians for generations.
...but there is no great lesson there, either, other than that tyranny is evil.
Yet your first graf seems to boast of the merits of cleaning up, profiting from the remains of the victims, and moving on. You make me want to vomit.
If I had the authority to do so, I'd nuke your account right now.