What is it like to visit a Nazi concentration camp?

I was never in one.But I was in Yad Vashem. In Jerusalem, Israel. Mid-80s.

The Hall of Names

There are all known names of the murdered Jews, along with commemorative sheets, short biographies.

There are 2 million biographies, there is room for 6 million. They are in the drawers on the walls…

The commemorative sheets are visible, you can search for Opfen.Relatives, family friends.

This is the Museum of the History of the Holocaust

Pictures, documents, private things of the victims, photos from the camps.

Medical reports by Dr. Mengele (

The Kunstmuseum also shows works of art that were created during the Holocaust in the camps.There are over 10,000 artworks

The Memorial Hall

The names of the extermination camps in German and Hebrew were embedded in the ground.

Somewhere there are also the numbers of the victims of the respective LAgers.

I was there with a group from the CVJM Westbund.It was soon quite quiet. The path through the complex was long and oppressive, it is largely underground, and quite cool, compared to the outside temperatures. That was in December, but it was still clear. But our goosebumps didn’t come from the cool. All the pictures, the works of art, all that. I’ve always been quite sensitive, the memorial hall has given me the rest.

We were also nervous about the observed by a group of Orthodox Jews, some of the Jews were obviously uncomfortable that we were there as Germans.

I couldn’t bear it anymore, I slapped my hands in front of my face and iused.I had to get out of there and kept screaming outside.

One of the Jews followed me.He also cried. He comforted me (HE, as a relative of the victims, comforted ME, a relative of the perpetrators!!).

Then he begotten me the avenue of the righteous among the nations.

The Orthodox has shown to the hall.

“You can’t forget that.”

And then to the avenue.

“But that’ is one of them, too.

You weren’t all bad.’

EDIT: Then he thanked me for crying.

The following year I was down again, then alone.And I talked to the people there.

One of them told me something that many people said one way or another: Auschwitz survivors, e.g., But then, through him, just personally, to me:

‘You’re not to blame for what happened then, you weren’t born.Your parents are not to blame, they were children or not yet born. I don’t want to know what your grandparents did. Perhaps they were against the regime. But that’s not important, YOU’re not responsible, you’re not guilty of what was. But you WILL be guilty if you forget, and if you watch, or are there, when people are threatened, beaten or burned on their homes because of their skin color or religion and say or do nothing about it! Promise me that you will stand up and not remain silent.”

I promised him.

And I will keep the promise.


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