As most of you know I'm a fan of BBC.com.
The BBC reported that builders found Auschwitz bottled message in concrete wall.
The message was a tombstone or marker, letting the world know that several 18 to 20's old young adults had once been there. And that they were from France and Poland.
While I was reading the article, a past article of their's struck my interest. It was about how the money strapped Auschwitz museum can not keep up with repairs and some are even debating whether repairs should be made or not.
With mixed feelings on this issue, I'd like to ask you what do you think? Should Auschwitz be left to decay and ruin? My mixed reaction comes on the heels of the message article. I'd almost like to see the whole thing torn down, have archaeologists study the landscape and all other "hidden" treasure that can be found by delicately removing every brick 1x1.
I dunno. My feelings are mixed as well. I like your idea about digging up all the treasures left behind but also... if they did that then it might really be portrayed as a myth instead of fact.
Aren't people saying this right now? Probably best to preserve it somehow, a memorial like Dame Scribe suggested or something. I dunno.
Maybe Mark Knowles can shed some light on this issue. Mark, isn't there already a museum set up? It is the actual outlying buildings that are in decay. At least that is what I understood.
I get cracked up every time I hear it was a myth. I'd like to send them all my grams way. But she won't talk about the era. Doesn't have nothing to say to about. But I'd still like for them, to see her dead stare on certain anniversary dates and tell her it's a myth.
As a person of German Ancestory, what could you ever do to rid the place of that, which happened there. I don't believe any German sees that stuff as treasure.
Please let them throw the whole place down,the memory should be sufficient but recent history shows us that this isn't true.Remember Cambodia,Rwanda,the balcanic war and some other minor crimes against humanity.It's really of no use building a memorial or keep other symbols of human depravation since cruelty always seems to repeat itself and most of the time unpunished.
No, it should be bull-dozed and a new building built in its place as a symbol of eradicating an old, evil way of life and building a new much more enlightened, good one.
I can't help but link to this photo here...
A picture from Jim Jones' massacre.
Note the sign hanging?
Perhaps now that we've media that withstands time as video and pictures...it may not be a useful thing to keep this stuff around anymore...but I dunno.
Yes, you have a point. However, I doubt Germans will repeat history, which was bizarre, during WWII and can be attributed to the treaty of versailles and the reduction of the cost of living...I don't know. Personally, I prefer to rid the world of ugliness.
I did not read through all this long post, so don't know where the conversation ended up, but...
I believe it should be kept in tact. The Holocaust needs to be remembered in all its evil. I have heard that the atmosphere around the place is palpable with the death and the acts that took place there. We need to feel that, I believe, and the German people (sorry if that sounds controversial) need to not forget--as well as the world at large.
Hitler's fantasy coliseum and other ridiculous ominous buildings should be torn down, however.
I think a memorial should be built with those bricks and list of names should go on the walls... in remembrance of the people that had been there. It breaks my heart to know such an event happened but serves as a reminder of the dark depths people can go. A photo gallery and artifacts found, could be kept at the local museum, I guess.
A memorial I'm all for...however, can we really go around telling Germany what to do with its property?
Even if they used it for the wrong thing?
Of course not. But they are asking that question and I am just wondering what others think of it.
It's in Poland! A bit south of a line drawn between Krakow and Katowice, better known locally by the Polish name Oświęcim.
Ahhh, excuse my ignorance, I apologize. Really, I knew that. I've a few camps in my head and I can't recall where they were...I'm not good at geometry.
As for closer than I think, I can understand. I'm well aware of this sort of tragedy--my great grandfather came to US from Germany before the war got too bad. They were Jews who converted to Later Day Saints or something of that nature.
However, everything is becoming second or third hand now. And like many have mentioned--the educational system in the USA is rather lacking even when it comes to our Civil War or Revolutionary War (although it is rather extensive...)
We skip WWI almost. WWII is quite the big talk about, but when I was in school I had the honour and privilege to hear words from an actual survivor. Our generations now don't have really a chance for that type of first hand perspective anymore.
Everyone keeps saying that the schools are lacking on teaching Rev. or Civil wars. I just don't see that. I'm a history major. I simply disagree. When young college hopefuls come to my fine university- their knowledge is suitable. It is the War of 1812 that nobody knows about! It is the Korean War nobody teaches! It is the facts to that of the Vietnam Police action that nobody has ever heard of.
Young college hopefuls at least know much as to the cause of the French and Indian War, the Spanish American War, WWI & II [including Civil and Revolutionary-being the utmost knowledge based]. But the War of 1812? Hell is it and has been forgotten.
This is my perception. A perception with strong educational merit, & not opinion. Yes, I'll agree that more can be taught. Hell, that's what college is for. That's what graduate school is for. That's what libraries are for. Ask a teenager today about Watergate and why it's called Watergate. The answers will amaze you.
Schools are strapped for cash. But not only are they strapped for cash, but there are only so many hours out of the day. With all these new "stupid" wars America has gotten herself into lately, how do you all suppose we make time for the War of 1812? How do you suppose that?
RK, you and I both love history. And yes, there's some good teachings in College. But everything I've seen come out of elementary, middle, junior, and high schools these past several years has been mediocre drivel, condensed down insta-history. Maybe this is just california...I don't know. I doubt it, though.
P.S. The War of 1812, while a bit of a prolonged one, did not last but for a few years...the Civil War, in contrast, ended with the single greatest loss of American life until WW II.
I had to study American History three years because of changing school systems in the eighth grade. We went through two years on one very thick textbook when I was in the sixth and seventh grades (Catholic school).
We covered the Civil War very well. Same with the Revolution. I can't say that I remember much of it because history just wasn't my subject.
I don't think the issue is that the subject isn't being taught, I think that it's more that many of our young people aren't sufficiently interested to retain the information they receive. I agree that we aren't taught about Korea or Vietnam or the War of 1812 (and other wars). We're lacking in information and some of what we have is distorted.
For me, the civil war is fresh in my mind. I think about what caused that war all the time. I've had repeated history lessons from my husband about that war.
But I don't know enough about WWII. I would also have said "Germany" rather than Poland. Disgusting. I guess I have some work to do.
There's many a good read about NAZIs, past, present, and future.
WW II was chiefly started by a group of people with an ideaology they deemed as "NAZI" in German. While we defeated Germany, we did not defeat the NAZI's by a long shot. Indeed, several of them were brought over here and helped start a lot of things after the war. Like NASA, for instance.
Of course, Truman didn't want NAZIs in the US. So the people that brought them over effectively erased their tracks to cover up the ties with that party. But make no mistake, it's still very much alive. And not just being utilized by a group of ardent skinheads.
EverydayMiracles- thank you.
And too, I will add black kids in American know damn good well about the Civil War. Maybe white kids aren't paying attention, because isn't their hides being freed.
I'm sick today. That's twice now I've played the "race card", so I apologize. I think I need a bowel movement.
But holy smokes people, think about it. Ever met a black brother or sister who hasn't heard of the Civil War? Anywhere? Not just the American Civil War either. Surpressed people don't forget hertiage like that. We don't. That's like thinking that the Jews will forget the Holocaust in 10 years. That's not likely to happen now is it? Hell we still talk about Moses and Egypt like it was yesterday.
In Black American households, the American Civil War is alive and well. Clearly, it is very well taught and talked about in "certain circles".
Look at the Trail of Tears. It may not be taught on extensively, but let me tell ya- it is in certain circles.
Oh, sure. Not an issue. Popular consciousness and cultural reverence are two different things, though. We tend to, as a people, only remember the worst of times. Though, I suppose in the Civil War's case, it was the best of times.
However, few people realize if Lincoln had had his way, he wanted to ship the slaves back to Africa. Irony..I think they wanted to start a new colony, since obviously most of the slaves that were around by the Civil War had never stepped foot on their "homeland."
But we're all Americans, regardless of skin or creed. I actually don't think much about skin color myself. If I think about this, I do become aware of it, so I just shrug and push it out of the way.
I agree completely with this statement. If you were walking around with fuchsia colored skin it wouldn't bother me. I hope that means that we are evolving as a culture and as a community.
I really find this (derailed) subject rather interesting. I try very hard to understand different peoples and cultures to the best of my ability. I do the best I can not to be ethnocentric at all.
Yeah man, but when the dude found out we could fight he changed his mind. You know, that's good that you don't think about skin color [that much]. That's good that you think we all should be equal Americans. But. And I do say but! We know that you only feel that way, because you live in THIS time frame. Today. Here. Now.
But man, you couldn't say that if there wasn't an American Civil War,brother. You can't convince me otherwise. We of African decent know this. Case in point- what purpose does it serve US, my white brother, having you interpret OUR American hero in an negative light. You have to know, YOU'RE putting our main man down. You've gotta know. Why? For some reason, white folks always feel the need to let us Negroes know- Abe wasn't about freedom. You'd think that us, blacks should know this information, for a better understanding of WHY we were freed? Only white folks wanna make sure WE get THAT history right.
Yeah, the white Lincoln wanna to ship our sorry colored, ignorant asses back to Africa. We've all heard it. We here it everyday, GeneriqueMedia. Everyday! I ask you my friend, you think Obama cared about that? Nah. Nope. Why? Because the American Civil War means everything to him. The President of the American Civil War means everything to him. HE IS- THE -REASON, my brother. Abe Lincoln my friend, is the founding father of freedom.
"Africa", you say. Did I mention this before? He is the reason. The reason you and I can have a good conservation like this today.
You know I feel nothing but love for you. I ain't dogg'n on you, GeneriqueMedia. I making my point stand independent of itself. That's all. So- my argument is and always will be- us black folk- are very well educated on the American Civil War. Believe it or not, but it's headline news- everyday. Everyday, its headline news where I come from. E v e r y d a y.
You folks are filling in the gaps in my knowledge of US history
I clearly think history is alive and well in America.
I find your background interesting. You do like history. You know you come from and live in two distinctly different and intriguing mecca's. The UK and Greece. History doesn't get better than that.
Thanks RK - History has always been my passion!
This is one of those nice threads (not the original subject matter!) that meanders along into interesting areas.
I never had too much interest in US history as a kid - I was too busy reading the Iliad and Icelandic Sagas, but now hope to make up for lost time.
Not going to comment on US internal politics too much (starts too many arguments!), but from an international viewpoint, Obama is doing the right things. If he manages to sort out the problems in the Middle East, he will earn a place alongside Lincoln in history.
EDIT - Hi GM - we crossed posts
I can't imagine why he wanted the job. Can you imagine the crosses he must bear from not only the Americans, but for the international community as well?
Certainly a tough job - I just hope that people do not expect too much of him. There is only so much that one guy can do in four/eight years.
Still, this could be a defining moment in history, and the next few years are going to be interesting.
Hopefully in a good way. I really don't want nuclear war to spoil our way of life and lives but that's what major psychics present and past are suggesting is going to happen.
He didn't even get to be in office for the full 50 days before he was already marked a failure. I personally think the man is crazy for wanting the job. Thanks for your kind thoughts on our president. For the first time in my life, I feel free to breathe.
That was a little harsh - he has a large mess to clear up, so getting the knives out after a few weeks is pretty unfair. Must agree - that is a job that I would not take on, whatever the reward. Still, he offers hope, and that is a good start - talking to people instead of dropping bombs on their goats is another good sign.
WR - I used to have recurring nightmares about nuclear war, when I was a kid, so I hope that you are wrong
I doubt nuclear war will come out of any of our "traditional" bad guys. It'll probably come out of Asia or the Middle East somewhere.
Will it happen? Probably. But I'm not envisioning WWIII, I'm only saying that as much as we feel we should disarm the USA and other nations, there's plenty of rogue forces out there.
Not that I'm telling people to hide under their beds....
If there is it's because, in my earnest opinion, there is hunger in the world and the world is ignoring the hungry as well as the sick and homeless. Why wouldn't they attempt to kill us when they have nothing to lose and they loath us because they blame us for all the world's ills? In that like I believe we should attempt to rid world hunger and homelessness 1st.
I don't disagree with you one bit. Probably back in 2003 or 04 I was reading an article via Slashdot about a young African kid who busted into an ex-pat bar there and went hogwild with a piece of excellent soviet killing power...something akin to an AK-47, I believe..anyway, he did it because he saw American television. And all he saw was plenty of food, well dressed people, Lamborghini's, etc, etc.
Envy's a bitch.
I don't know, a lot of people probably can't afford televisions over there. What out country tends to do is exploit the natural resources of third world countries so we really can't blame them if they're resentful. But blame is actually fruitless what we need to do is prevent another terrorist attack and nuclear war and the best way to do that, in my opinion, is to help improve the standard of living in these countries.
Hey, RK, it's all good...
I am happy that I am alive to see our latest president--regardless of skin color, the man is very charasmatic. Had I seen JFK, I could draw much more proper comparisons. But he is a modern day "JFK."
Had I been alive during the Civil War....
...well, a lot of my ancestry is filled with black, Jew, German, French, and whatever have you. I am a mutt. A true product of "American" values. My only native land--the only land I can claim heritage to--is the USA as it stands today. I couldn't exist as I do now back then, you're absolutely right.
And I was a premie. Had my mother been pregnant with me during the 1800s, I would have died. She may have, as well. =P
"Black folk" are indeed more educated by in large per capita than white. I've tend to come to that conclusion as I've seen them in the true media, not just sterotyped BS we see in gangsta rap and movies of old.
And I'll admit, sometimes, just sometimes someone comes in and goes "that (insert skin color here...) was out of line" at my job. I work at a liquor store, mind you.
Mostly it's Mexican's people bitch about. I tell them that if they care so much then start patrolling the borders and petitioning for English to become the official language of our nation. They're too apathetic.
Lincoln rocked, indeed. But the Civil War was not fueled by freeing slaves. It was fueled by the fact we were becoming a country split apart--Lincoln saw that he could use the black slaves as a tool for revolt and insurrection, nothing more. I'm not bagging on Lincoln, mind you, and I know he cared little about skin color as I do today.
But be honest--when the founding father's first wrote the Constitution, don't you think they realized the hypocrisy of "all men created equal" when they had slaves themselves?
It was a hot button topic that nobody decided to deal with. Lincoln was courageous in dealing with it, even if it wasn't his ultimate goal.
Oh yes, Thomas Jefferson laid his hopes on the next generation. Nothing like passing the buck.
I can understand the feeling (including those that make up my own mixed set of feelings) that leaving it "as is" can, in a way, seem right.
Still, I try imagine how I would feel (if there were a way to feel at this point) if I could look back on how I died, and consider whether I wanted that "ugliness" to be left on my behalf. Everyone thinks differently, of course; and none of us can ever put ourselves in the place of those victims (and often heroes in one way or another). Having said that, though, I have to say that I think I'd want every last shred of the "works" of all that evil (that essentially "won" when it came to robbing innocent people of so much) destroyed. To me, it would seem like a good way to "ground out" the remnants of the evil that did not - in the end - win. I think saving sections of stone/brick and taking lots of photographs, etc. would still tell the story of the victims.
To me, remembering what went on is one thing. Another thing, though, is memorializing the evil way in which all those murdered people died. I can't help thinking that all "ghosts" of Hitler (and all the rest) should be ground to the "nothing" that this twisted, sub-human, was when he was still breathing. Somehow, I guess, I still think the victims should be remembered for who they were when they lived - and before evil people tried to take away who/what they were.
You raise some great points, as always.
Germany it's self as a whole tends to agree with you--they all went to Sweden during WW II on Holiday.
Glorifying war in such a profane way certainly has its critics. Most of the Holocaust survivors are no longer with us, and several of their lineage are now years down the family tree line.
I imagine it will only be a matter of generations before WW II as a whole may become one of those things that people consider an obscure reference.
Yeah - because nobody mentions the American civil war any more......
Seriously - if you have been to Auschwitz - it should be left to rot. Maybe we can put it behind us when it has rotted away.
I remember the Civil War! How can I forget the battle that lead to our present day decline via overbearing government? Besides, by the time the war ended medical science, machine guns, bullets in cartridges, and Iron Clads were created.
We had made some nice inventions for the Dough Boys. ;P
I agree with you, however, I'd like nothing more than to see past idiotic reminders of the worse of humanity to return from whence it came.
Closer than you might think. My other half is 30, and his three paternal uncles all died in camps (Polish Jews).
I don't think it should be moved and it's in Poland, not in Germany if I recall. I think it's important to stay there, maybe the UN can declare it some kind of sacred site and pay for it's upkeep, but we need it as a constant reminder of man's inhumanity to man. Just watched The boy in the striped pyjamas on Sunday and am still upset.
Agree with that one - I have never been to Auschwitz, but there are many memorials in this area, commemorating WWII mass executions. Very poignant and sad.
If only one person sees one of these, and realises that war is an abomination, then some good has come out of it.
Weirdly, people in the U.S. HAVE kind of forgotten the Civil War. Very little is remembered about slavery or what led up to the war, why the war was fought, what happened after (a big fat mess) and how strongly those divisions persist in American culture.
But I can see how, from overseas, it would seem like it's obviously very fresh in our memories. I personally think it isn't, and wish it was. Nobody reads history anymore. All we know about here is five minutes old or less and everything else is imaginary. Pretty soon no one will read, period.
[Pam in curmudgeon mode..]
I'm a history major Pam, if that helps out your mood. I talk about the Civil War all the time. Matter of fact, I know a bunch of young adults that do. Hope that cheers you up!
Interesting - not a subject that we studied much, although I seem to remember that it was a particularly brutal war.
Liked your point about your Gram - I would love to drag a couple of neo-nazis around to your place. I wish her 'many years.'
Thanks. She a tough old bird, I mean girl.
Please don't tell her I said that.
Where are you from that you don't study history much? US?
Send me $100 dollars, and my lips are sealed.
Originally from Britain, but I now live in Greece - I love history, and study it a lot, but my knowledge of US history is not as good as it should be.
In my school, in the UK, we studied the US War of Independence, but very little about the Civil War. Mind you, we had our own Civil War and it was just as brutal. Civil Wars always seem to be particularly nasty.
What I found interesting was the message in the bottle. Personal graffiti left for our generation to find. They said they found it in an area that was used as supply storage. 1. I'd like to know if any of the authors survived and 2. I wonder what that particular day was like for them.
Probably miserable. How good could it be knowing that you were about to be burned alive or poisoned and burned or ready to drop dead from starvation or disease. Possibly watching your loved ones make their way to the crematorium... They could have been hopeful or in utter despair.
Would be interesting to know if they or him/her is still alive.
I was thinking along the lines of;
Was the morning dew still on the horizon? Was it summer time? How deep was the snow?
I am sure they could figure it out somehow. Are you wanting to write about it? I mean a story from the letters or something?
No. I've written a couple of hubs on this type of subject matter. But my Grams wasn't pleased. And since she pays for my rent nine months out of the year- I don't think I'll be writing any more.
No seriously she had a good point. How can I write on something I know nothing about. I tell her it's easy. It's like journalism. But, nay- I'd best leave this subject matter alone.
Maybe you should.
G/M, with regard to "Glorifying war in such a profane way certainly has its critics. Most of the Holocaust survivors are no longer with us, and several of their lineage are now years down the family tree line."
I don't necessarily think preserving it "as it" is "glorifying war" at all. I do see it as the wish of many people to, instead, perhaps "honor" the somberness (for lack of a better way to describe it). I guess, though, I lean toward that "seasons of Nature" kind of thinking that following (even the ugliest) of times/deaths can come a new Spring. (Corny way to describe my thinking, I know; but I do think there's something to be said for remembering, without hanging on to an ugly past.)
I agree with those who say the horrors of the American Civil war are generally not thought about much. I think that's because we get introduced to it when we're kids (and not capable of really comprehending the reality of what happened); and because nobody's left to tell his personal stories. I have to say, though, that every time I hear someone read the Gettysburg Address I do get chills (so even those of us born as recently as shortly after WWII aren't completely immune to awareness of the horrors of the Civil War.
I think auschwitz is still important to those who's families were murdered there. I would like to see an end to wars, and this is a very strong symbol of mans inhumanity.
Oddly I guess that my German side, was Arian, and therefore supposedly, and therefore I would have Nazi relatives.Oddly my German side was a darn sight more compassionate than the French vein.
I have found that the German people generally did not want to be pushed into uniforms, and made to goosestep, nor would they have wanted to engage in genocide. I have always failed to understand how Germans could be led by one Fanatic, as they are a very strongminded race. So it flies in the face of all sanity, that the Holocaust ever happened. However, I had a friend thats Uncle, born in Germany, joined the New Zealand Army and was shot by what was his own people. The Fuhrer was bonkers towards the end, there are even rumours, that the original man popped his clogs, and the standin was the one that caused the most damage. It is certain that he became more mad as the days went by.
I don't agree with the place as it was like a Park, full of Hair and glasses, and I think that the only reason it existed after ww2 was because noone knew what to do with it....
The Japanese were just as revolting. Tortured Nurses had No Boundaries, another case of a religious weirdo doing his thing.Politicians make wars People do not.
My least favorite history course in college was about the American Civil War. Courses on World War II history were much more interesting, but to be honest I was much more fascinated by social history as opposed to the military history. The best course I ever took was about Brazil, which was great because the professor knew how to think outside the box.
There is a necessity to study military history, but I got tired with some narrow minded middle school teachers who thought the only eras to teach about US history are: The American Revolution, The Civil War, and America's contributions during the first and second world wars. One of these dodos said their was no importance to teaching about the Great Depression, or any other events in economic and social history. World history is not taught extensively enough in middle or high school here in the US, with only one year being devoted to it at each level.
I'm with you on the social part. Many wars, the civil war being one of them, have forever changed our society. From new technologies and medicine, to new laws and forms of government control.
Any teacher just focusing on battles is obsessed.
Wow GM, I've heard about that back in USSR, but never really bothered to read about this sect later. Now you prompted me to skim through the wiki article - and I found out those guys called themselves socialist and communists!
They did not tell us that back there in Soviet Union... So much for the accurate history and other government propaganda...
Sarcasm, perhaps, Misha?
Not to start trampling over something where I was barely alive in.
However, fair and accurate is hard to obtain.
I too, thank Mr. Obama for taking the oath, as I do with all presidents. Do I have issues with his administration? For sure! But if I followed blindly with any President I wouldn't be doing myself or any one else a favor. I try to remain balance and leniency, as you've been aware.
Hidden "treasure" is no reason to tear down a monument to the corruption of human values that a concentration camp is. Doesn't matter if all the survivors die, it's got to remain standing because without a physical reminder, we forget and may even delegitimize what happened during that time. It isn't about serving as a reminder to the Germans but to the world that such an event actually happened. We repeat history if we allow it to be erased.
To chime in on the discussion on the education system, I agree that American students aren't really taught much history at the high school or even undergrad level. Only one person in the class I teach had even heard of My Lai and that was because he'd read Tim O'Brien. That said, my class seemed to enjoy learning history even through an English class. We just aren't teaching it to them is all.
I agree with whoever said that history is alive for those it impacts. There's no point whitewashing the past. We've got to acknowledge that terrible tragedies occurred and make sure they aren't repeated, whether it's by keeping Auschwitz open or by ensuring that torturers are brought to justice wherever they are.
For those like yourself who feel that it shouldn't be left to decay, I'm sure the Auschwitz-Birkenau Preservation Foundation will appreciate your donation:
http://en.auschwitz.org.pl/m/index.php? … ;Itemid=37
In one of my hub, I stated WWII was justified, Hitler had to be stopped. It was the only war we had to fight and thank God we won that war. Thank you Detroit
Will do...once I have some spare change.
Or find a better job.
Or become successful on HubPages! ;D
Peace and Love,
GeneriqueMedia, if you feel it's that important to say and not explored- I'm sure it is a good cause. As for myself, I'll stick to the SAMPLA cause. Calebd maybe me realize how important that lost treasure really is.
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