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Concentration camps: where did all the birds go?

jimbo 2 | 13  
27 Feb 2007 /  #1
Having been taught 20th century history many moons ago at school.
We came to the bit where teachers try and tell you about the 2nd world war
you learn about all the battles on land, on the sea and in the air !
You learn about the prison camps and even the poor way that your own
soldiers were treated by their own generals and majors.

But to my knowledge we were only told that concentration camps ever existed.
Never were we told of the horrors that went on within the wires. of course you pick some of the stories up as you go along through life but even that does not prepare you for the bitter reality of what went on, until you get the chance to visit for yourself.

I got my chance to visit Auschwitz Birkenau last September not until then did the realisation of what went on inside those wires hit me. You are greeted at the gates by the sound of deafening silence, not even a bird whistling.

The people exterminated in here were not soldiers; they were normal men and women like me and you sentenced to death for what ?
Lets not forget these innocent victims. May they rest in peace.

Where did all the birds go ?
szarlotka 8 | 2,208  
27 Feb 2007 /  #2
Where did all the birds go ?

I got the same impression of eerie silence there too. Also around some of the battlefields from WWI (Mons, Ypres)
daffy 23 | 1,508  
27 Feb 2007 /  #3
jimbo - where are you from?

I was schooled in the UK and IRE and i learned about the camps in a very, detailed, way
I appreciate this education as its good to give young impressionable youth the true horror of it so that it lasts them all there lives. lest they ever forget and repeat the past.

I would hope my children are taught about it too. never forget, never repeat.
ArturSzastak 3 | 593  
27 Feb 2007 /  #4
I was kind of pissed, when in 9th grade American History here in the US they never once mentioned gulags. All it was was teh concentration camps. Yes, nothing more. No details. How are we truelly supposed to understand what they went through if we don't know? Also with the gulags. How many Polish men/women/children went through the same horrors, only in frozen Siberia? and Ukranians of course, along with many others.
daffy 23 | 1,508  
27 Feb 2007 /  #5
artur, tak, we only did a little on the gulags, but with the conc camps we were told that the gulags were another example of human atrocity and that was all we needed then

though now, more to learn would be bemeficial
27 Feb 2007 /  #6
In the USA in 6th grade in 1975, I was shown Night and Fog, we read Anne Frank's diaries and we were told about the camps and who was in them; Jews, non- Jews, Poles, Germans, Catholics, the disabled, dissidents, etc. That was in history class.

A couple of years later, in an English class, we read about Manzanar, about the Japanese interred here and also had to read at least one book from a booklist, some fiction, some non-fiction, and since I had already read The Diary fo Anne Frank, I picked fiction, a book called Summer of My German Soldier, about Germans detained during WWII in camps here in the US.

In that same class, later in the year, we read exiled writers and expat writers and we talked about Siberia a bit and talked about how Russians put dissidents in jail (we never were told the word Gulag, that I remember), and we read poetry from Argentina, by people who had members of their families tortured and murdered.

We never talked about Hungarian jails or other governments in Europe which had similar systems for torture, or secret police groups, or about Battaan and Cabantuan in the Phillipines, when we studied Japan, either. I guess they couldn't fit it all in!

I guess it depends on where you live in the US and who sets your district's curriculum. Of course, that was the 1970s and things were more progessive here then.

Now it's all about homeschooler's rights, conservatism, "creation science" and suing to get your way in the classroom.

Artur, when did you go to school here in the US, and where? That may have made a difference.
OP jimbo 2 | 13  
28 Feb 2007 /  #7
jimbo - where are you from?

I come from just outside Preston ! I wasnt saying we never heard about them
they were mentioned but not in any great detail !
I actually learned more about them on the afternoon last September when I got
my chance to visit the camp and experience the eeriness of the place for myself !
daffy 23 | 1,508  
28 Feb 2007 /  #8
very cool jimbo!

I agree with you completly that the people need to know this.
28 Feb 2007 /  #9
What time of year did you visit? We went in June about 7 years ago and we could hear birds in Birkenau. We were told the birds did leave initially but returned some years later. There are birds there for sure, I heard them with my own ears.
OP jimbo 2 | 13  
28 Feb 2007 /  #10
I was there in September last year ! My Polish girlfriend went to school in Osciem (maybe spelt wrong) but the school is only 1/2 kilometre away from the camp! She said that they very rarely heard birds in the area !

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