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Deportation Centers in Europe and their Effectiveness

After touring both Deportation memorials in both Paris and Amsterdam, I have a fuller understanding of the conditions Jews had to face before even entering a concentration camp. However, what I found most interesting about these two deportation center memorials is the difference in how they presented information to the individuals viewing the memorial. In Paris, the memorial wanted to provoke an emotional response within all the individuals that went through it. This was displayed in the font used in words etched into the stone building, as well as the dark and small atmosphere. This memorial wanted all who went in to try and feel their pain, although we can not fully comprehend it. It also expressed the sorrow France had for its collaboration with the Nazis.

The Amsterdam deportation memorial, however, was different. It could still provoke an emotional response within the individuals visiting, but it gave more facts about the deportation center and used many (over 2,000) oral testimonials from individuals who experienced this deportation center to better explain to the visitor the conditions that they faced. Individually, these deportation centers do not give the full effect of both the emotion experienced when visiting, or all the information about the experience of the deportation centers. Although the one in Paris is older than the Amsterdam memorial, if the goal had been the same as the Amsterdam memorial, then they would have later included the oral testimonies to further the individuals’ knowledge of the deportation center. Instead, their goal was to continue to provoke emotion within the viewer in their attempt to prevent others from doing anything like what the Nazis did during World War II from ever happening again. The memorials together helped me better experience what it had been like in those deportation centers. I can not fully understand and never will understand what they experienced, but these memorials taught me about these past horrific injustices that were done, and how to perceive what are injustices in our modern society.