Stutthof, Poland

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Stutthof, Poland

Message  MarineL le Ven 21 Aoû - 14:51

Good Afternoon Everyone,

After Muriel's email, I thought I would write something about one of my trips.

During the past few years, I have been several times to Poland.

The first time (and the second time) I went to Poland, I have been to a concentration camp in Poland.

This is in a town called Sztutowo ( Stutthof ), which is about 30 miles from Gdansk. When our tour guide told us we would be going there, I first thought " oh ah, ok ". I just didn't know what would happen to me.

This is the first camp established by the Nazis in Poland. At the start of the World War 2, this was a prisoner camp. Then it became a " labor education " camp. Few months after, this was a concentration camp.

The camp is still there. When you visit the camp, you enter the same door as the prisoners a few decades ago... I was already overwhelmed and I wasn't prepared to the following...

Andrzej (André in French) explained us that a lot of the camp is still there, but several things have been destroyed (we were able to see pictures afterwards).

Our lovely Andrzej took us to the first rooms... And there I started to realise how harder this was to see the reality than reading it in books or seeing it in a film.

We were in a room full of burnt shoes. A mountain of burnt shoes. Andrzej started to be really upset. A few tears came down his cheeks when he started to explain us that these were the shoes of people who died here, children to old people. He explained that this wasn't even a fifth of the shoes that were on the camp.

As soon as I heard this, my face started to change to another colour. I wasn't feeling well to be there. And I was only visiting it... I couldn't even imagine the pain of the people who were there few decades back.

We were visiting the "facilities" of the camp. We saw a lot of ashes, then again of only a few people. We saw the shower room. Andrzej explained us this wasn't a shower room like we would imagine going in when we wake up. This room was there to execute the people.
They were there, getting naked and soon after... They were gased. And they died. People were put into the nearby trains and gased. They were put in there, being nobody but a number. These people had a story, a life, family. They were reduced to being nobody, being prisoned, starved and gased to death.

We saw the ovens the corpses were cremated in. The ovens were intact. It was hard for me to imagine that people get cremated, dies without their loved ones.

We saw horrible things that it would be really too long to list. This was a life changing trip for me, I started to question myself about being a human. At the very moment, I was disgusted of being someone. I didn't want to be but forget this reality. I was 17, that's when my life changed. I didn't stop questioning myself for months and I still do when I think about this. I couldn't sleep the night when I came back from this visit. I was horrified, too afraid to close my eyes...

I'm really sorry for the sad topic I have been speaking about, but if you want to know more than I've been explaining, go here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stutthof_concentration_camp. Or there: http://stutthof.org/#_=_ . The website is available in English, German, Italian, Russian and Polish. If you're ready for this kind of trip, you can go there: Ul. Muzealna, Sztutowo 82-110, Poland. If you go there, make sure you visit Torun not too far and full of nice little shops and their speciality " pierniki ". This is a gingerbread speciality with a lot of flavours! Go to Gdansk, Gdynia... Just go to Poland and you won't regret it. Smile

MarineL

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Re: Stutthof, Poland

Message  MurielB le Ven 21 Aoû - 22:48

Thanks Marine for your comment about a Polish concentration camp. Usually the summer holidays are frivolous.
"See, Sex and sun"3 words to sum up what they are for most people because they want to put aside their worries, they want to enjoy life to the full. Of course, they deserve it !  Your trip is the other way round. It was a journey into hell and you discovered the ultimate horror.   It made  You ask yourself the fundamental question about human beings. How can they behave like monsters ? How can we behave like monsters ? 
 At the very moment, I was disgusted of being someone
For me the only answer to that is "Never again", let's change ourselves, let's change the world around us, don't let it happen again.

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Re: Stutthof, Poland

Message  MarineL le Sam 22 Aoû - 21:06

Hi there!

"See, sex and sun"... Don't you mean "sea", Muriel?

My trip wasn't this summer. This was a few years ago ( in 2009 and in 2010 ). It was in winter time. The huge amount of snow gave it a more powerful look. I think it added more emotions as well. Made it worse for me at least.

I've had my life changed by this trip. I took conscience of the meaning of this. I took conscience I should cherish the world and everything that I have. Unlike you Muriel, I can't say "never again"... Unfortunately, mass murders still happen (even if it ain't this much) and labor/prisoners camps still exist. Look at Russia and their forced labour or worse, look at DPRK ( Democratic People's Republic of Korea, most commonly known as North Korea ). I want to tell myself that such a violence can't exist in 2015. Violence of a similar kind still exists. I'd be happy to keep speaking about North Korea someday, maybe in another topic.

I am trying to change a little part of this world as you do with the passion of languages. You helped people reunite, from teenagers to older people. Thanks for that. Smile


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Re: Stutthof, Poland

Message  MurielB le Dim 23 Aoû - 22:05

"Sea, sex and sun"...
yes Marine I meant "sea, sex and sun". I agree with you, a lot of terrible things are still happening all the time because people are not intelligent enough, mature enough, evolved enough. there is a long way to go before people get on well together and live in harmony with nature and all living species.
You wrote =>"I am trying to change a little part of this world as you do with the passion of langages" let's bring our Stone to the building Marine !

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Re: Stutthof, Poland.

Message  MarineL le Dim 27 Sep - 23:45

Unlike you Muriel, I don't think we will ever be able to get on well together and live in harmony with people or nature. We're all so different and we've been created all differently. There will never be a world where there's no violence, no wars... We all have too many different beliefs in order to change that.

We are all trying to bring our stone to the building. There are people who will always try to take it out, unfortunately.

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Re: Stutthof, Poland

Message  MurielB le Lun 28 Sep - 22:23

Hi Marine !
I am very happy to see you back on that forum and I want to cheer you up a bit.
Do we need to be alike to get on well with one another ? Are you similar to your boy friend? Complementarity is better than likeness don't you  think ?
Any way do you remember that quote ?
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
I agree that lots of bad news come to us every day and it is very depressing. The only solution is to concentrate on what you are doing yourself and find happiness in the joy you are bringing around you ! Very Happy

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