ArpitGarg's Weblog

An opinion of the world around me

Apology Tourism

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One of my friends visited a WW2 Extermination Camp, Majdanek in Poland. He was all oohs and aahs about the atrocities committed and what he learnt of them. Hitler this and Hitler that! I agree that people endured some unspeakable atrocities there, but does that give us a right to turn it into a tourist place?

One major argument for turning such structures into tourist places is that future generations can learn from the mistakes. “Once you see it for yourself, the horror of it, you will become a better person”, is what we are fed. But does it really happen? Apart from adding to tourism revenue and serving some political agenda, they serve little purpose.

How are we better than Hitler? Do we not stand and let people get killed en masse all around the globe; by mighty and crippled economies alike? Some kill there own people, some kill abroad. Point being, tour of such places does not help reduce the horror. Attracting opulent patrons to such places, I call “Apology Tourism”.

The truth is we just want to sit in our cozy little houses, oblivious of the current. We wait for our present to turn into past so that our children can tour the upcoming horror houses. Thus keeping the Apology Tourism alive.

Lets not be hypocrites. We just need tourist places to go and spend our holidays. And since we have lots of weekends to kill, we have gone a step ahead and converted tales of human miseries to our convenience.

Hardly any tourist would have sobbed at Majdanek. One thing he/she would have done for sure is to click pictures to put online. We should stop hiding and admit that we just go there to enjoy. Learning from history is a sob story and a bad one at that. If any tourist ends up making a difference, I would be proven wrong. But I seriously doubt.

Given the inaction of people like us who sneeze when it breeze, such tourist destinations will keep presenting themselves around the world. Our weekends stand booked.

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Written by arpitgarg

September 15, 2014 at 9:51 pm

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