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Concentration camps

Poland and Czech Republic both have concentration camps, of those which were the better ones to visit?

Posted by
156 posts

We've visited both Matthausen and Auschwitz. We've also visited Dachau outside of Munich. Auschwitz and Dachau are 'memorials'. Both have documentation, displays, etc., and are showplaces of the horrors of the Holocaust. Matthausen, on the other hand, is an example of the absolute terror of the camps. It was a killing machine. There aren't many displays, etc., and only offers a walk-thru one of the many murder camps of the Third Reich. If you have the time and the opportunity, visits to both Matthausen and Auschwitz are worthwhile.

Posted by
52 posts

ive been to both Dachau and Mauthaussen..

Dachau is indeed more of a memorial.... mauthaussen.... while a long dull train ride difficult to reach... is a much more moving experience...

Posted by
7205 posts

We just returned from Prague and a visit to Terezin Concentration Camp. It's a bare-bones place not frequented by as many tourists as the more well-known places like Dachau or Auschwitz. However, our English speaking tour guide - also an employee of Terezin - was EXCELLENT. She spoke perfect English, but she also had a depth of understanding and communication skills that were unmatched. I very much found Terezin just as interesting and moving as the better known camps. If you have time, definitely do Terezin. You can take the public bus or contact Prague Airport Shuttle which also provides tours to Terezin as well as airport transfers.

Posted by
48 posts

Suzanne:

Terezin is so easy to get to and cheap, you should go there plus it is nice to walk around the whole place at your leisure.

I have been to both, in fact I went to Auschwitz yesterday as I am in Krakow now. I went with a tour group to get there about 80 minutes outside Krakow. I liked having the guide, but it felt a bit too much with the other people 40 with me. I know you must visit Auschwitz, if you have the chance, but Treezin and thge Ghetto Muzeum there I visited 2 years ago I got more out of. FWIW.

Posted by
276 posts

In Krakow itself there is the Plaszow Concentration Camp in the Podgorze neighborhood which was the Jewish ghetto (as opposed to Kazimierz which was a thriving Jewish neighborhood before the war). This is the camp that was overseen by Amon Goeth as depicted in Schindler's List. Nothing of the actual camp remains except Goeth's villa( which is still used as a residence),but there are several monuments in Hebrew and Polish and a very moving sculpture on the hill. There wasn't much else to see (at least when I was there in 2004), but I was more deeply affected by my experience at Plaszow than at Auschwitz. Everyone who has the chance should see Auschwitz because there are very informative displays and guides and you really can't imagine the horrible scale of the place unless you see it yourself. But Auschwitz is full of tour and school groups which can be distracting whereas Plaszow was all but empty when I was there, allowing me to contemplate the horrors in my own time. inyourpocket.com gives more detail on this and other related sites.