Visiting Flossenbürg Concentration Camp
Lifestyle

Visiting Flossenbürg Concentration Camp

An international perspective.

58
Visiting Flossenbürg Concentration Camp
Christi Copes

Flossenbürg Concentration Camp stands, unassuming, on the edge of a small German village. Shouldered by housing developments and little restaurants, I initially feel that the space lacks the kind of reverence an American like me would expect to find in such a place. Our perspectives on the war change the way we view these horrific remnants of the crimes committed during it. For Germany, creating a bright future is a bigger goal than preserving and reflecting on the Holocaust. All around the camp, the signs of forward motion are evident, but the most important aspects of the site have been left standing to house a museum. Behind the camp in a valley lies a solemn field that is dedicated to the lives lost there.

A tour through the remaining buildings provides the history of the camp and the stories of the people who were forced to live there. You can walk through the process that incoming prisoners had to endure when they arrived. Following in their footsteps you will find a room for possessions, a room for shaving heads, a room for a mass shower, and a room to dress in their newly assigned work camp clothing. The purpose of the camp was to provide construction materials. Prisoners had to carve marble out of the countryside for new government buildings that were being created in Nuremberg. The conditions were terrible, and the prisoners were worked relentlessly. The crematorium standing in the back of the camp is a testament to their suffering.

The field behind the buildings functions as a quiet space where you can stroll through headstones and visit a church that commemorates the dead. Now covered in grass, a strikingly large mound created from the ash and bones of those who perished here rises behind the crematorium. An evergreen forest surrounds the back of the valley and covers the location of the former quarry. The silence that exists here is almost oppressive, and suddenly the Germans’ focus on the future doesn’t seem so confusing to me. It is here that I find the reverence that I expected; a solemn acknowledgment of the past and an honesty about the future.

The museum ends with a black wall that is filled with cards that have been written on by visitors. They contribute hundreds of voices crying out for peace. The words are written in many different languages and in many different ways, but the sentiment is nearly universal, “We remember.”

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Some people are so good at downplaying their sadness that even they don't realize how much they do it. When you ask them how they are they will always say that they are good, even when they aren't. They exhaust themselves by plastering an energetic and carefree persona in the spaces that you watch them in because at least to you they can control how they appear. They can pretend to be the happy person they want to be when everyone is telling them how funny and bubbly they are all the time.

Keep Reading... Show less

Mental health is not an easy endeavor. It's not a fad. It's not a bandwagon that you can hop on and off of whenever you want to. Your yearly dose of sadness is not depression. I'm not here to define what depression — or anxiety, or any other type of mental health issue looks like — but I will tell you what it's not.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Sonnie Hiles on Unsplash

Whether it's dealing with a global pandemic or getting fired from your job, the fear of not knowing can become consuming if it isn't controlled. Below are some easy ways to take back control and establish a peace of mind.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

My South Asian Roots Inspire My Future Career As Both A Scientist And Journalist — Here's How

Being born to culturally diverse parents, I feel like I have the best of both worlds!

Erikka Chowdhury

To all of those who don't know me, I'm an American girl with South Asian parents who have carved their own niche as immigrants in the USA.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Samuel Branch on Unsplash

Affirmations affirm beliefs that we are in need of strengthening. They help up to focus on goals that we are striving for or on a powerful part of ourselves that we need a little reminder is within us.

They specifically focus on positive outcomes or belief systems that we're working to solidify, rather than solely focusing action on eradicating something "bad" or "wrong" from your life.

Keep Reading... Show less

About a year ago, I began my own fitness journey. Growing up, I had played soccer and kept busy, but after an injury cut my soccer career short I suddenly became very inactive. It took years of misfires before I finally found a new active passion for weight lifting. Getting started is never easy, and setting up for success is the best plan of action to assist anyone in your life who is thinking about starting their own journey. These are a few items you can gift for the fitness rookie in your life:

Keep Reading... Show less

I oftentimes (excessively) use the excuse of my job as a writer to justify my excessive spending habits.

I needed the new Huda Beauty palette before anyone else in the name of journalistic integrity. It was my job to test out the new Francis Kurkdjian fragrance to make sure I could tell people whether or not it was truly worth the splurge (it was).

Keep Reading... Show less

The beaches are starting to open up. At least in Cape Cod, where my family and I were able to vacation this week. Near our house, we have a bit of a private beach, which is great.

Keep Reading... Show less

I sometimes look back at the days when I had anorexia and think to myself what would have happened if I had taken another bite? Nowadays, I spend days dreading over my figure and wondering if the old sundresses and outfits even fit. I tell myself that they do, but I feel like reality holds a different truth.

Keep Reading... Show less

I remember the days where closet drinking before going to a party or bar was part of the night's itinerary. It was a requirement to have a good buzz flowing before calling the Uber to take you to that bar where you see everyone from your high school at. The pregames were the best part of the night, but it wasn't ever because of the alcohol, it was because of the atmosphere and those who were in it. The number of times I've heard "Wait, why aren't you drinking tonight? C'mon, get drunk with us" is endless, but think about it. Where were you when you were asked that? You were at the goddamn pregame and being there doesn't mean you need to be ripping shots. Being social doesn't require alcohol.

I asked 20 people how they cut back on alcohol while still being social.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments