Camp forced sex stories
For many, it was their first confrontation with the realities of the Nazis' crimes.
It was them -- those for whom Europe is just one big party -- I had in mind when telling the group about the thousands of camps in the network of forced labor and death, about the brutal punishments meted out to prisoners who broke camp rules, about the piles of bodies discovered by the American liberators, about the "medical experiments" conducted on prisoners.
They mingled with Jewish tourists from Israel and the United States who lost family members in the Holocaust.In short, they didn't know what they were getting into.It was these tourists who I usually found myself speaking to.Almost everyone, it seems, who travels through Germany and Eastern Europe, stops off for a few hours in a factory of torture and death.
And yet, standing on the roll-call square at the Dachau camp surrounded by tourists -- on the same site where half-starved prisoners were counted every morning from 1933 to 1945 and where uncooperative prisoners were hanged from time to time -- my first thought before launching into my spiel was, "why in the world would they want to come here? As disgusting as the story may be, there is a morbid interest in delving into the criminal depths of humankind.
It is this interest that explained the presence of many of my guests.