well, i am in krakow. an amazingly lovely city, with astonishing medieval and after architecture, great street life, etc. i have never felt so jewish as when i was contemplating this journey, however. and it strikes me that this whole region - which includes auschwitz, the schindler factory, and so on - is dependent on holocaust tourism. the jewish quarter, which i just walked in the surprisingly blistering heat, was crowded; tours everywhere.
the holocaust sucked for some folks, of course, but it has turned out to be quite the cash cow. perhaps this is what hitler had in mind in the long run: an economic development plan for a united europe. i wonder if this is true in other genocides: take the killing fields tour; hey let's go visit some mass graves; here's the forced collectivization of agriculture conference center and golf course. alright there are very good reasons for this and we should never forget, etc. (as a matter of fact i live 15 miles from gettysburg, where it seemed like the whole nation gathered a few weeks ago.)
on the other hand the tourists look the same as anywhere: germans and americans and japanese snapping pictures and buying holocaust souvenirs. up in the square or in the antique shops, there is much much antique nazi and soviet merchandise: well, we're all nostalgic for non-squishy totalitarianism, when someone would really tell you what to do, even if it was just die.
now on the other hand, the anarchy 'a' is ubiquitous, indicating that there are people here who might actually have drawn the obvious conclusion from this deranged statist history.