Prisoners would rush to get the top bunk bed in Auschwitz.
Like overexcited schoolchildren at a summer holiday camp?
No, but because a malnourished human being will quickly lose control of their bowel movements.
And you wouldn’t want to be under that.
The Son and Heir conveyed that story to me after visiting the Polish concentration camp as part of World Youth Day in Krakow.
Life in camp
And it is these graphic illustrations of what life was like in the concentration camp which are being increasingly retold this week, this day.
On the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.
The challenging question for those of us whose mission is to see the world is whether Auschwitz is mawkish.
And, yes, it can be, if you disrespect the memory of those who were brutalised there by taking cheap selfies.
The Son and Heir
But I’m heartened at the same time by the ever-increasing interest in history by thus generation.
And the reverence shown by, among them, the Son and Heir at Auschwitz.
And those young schoolboys who joined me in presenting the wreath at The Last Post at the Menin Gate in Ieper.
Where I found the grave of my Great Uncle.
War history and war tourism is as old as time…
For example the great Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott was not alone among well-known people to scour the Waterloo battlefield.
And my American colleague in Ieper took home fragments of exploded shells from Ieper.
I am always prepared to go the extra mile to seek out a battlefield, a graveyard or a genocide.
From visiting my first concentration camp in Dachau, and it was the first in Germany, on my Oktoberfest trip to Munich…
To discovering the inhumane lengths man will still go to settle grievances at the Museum of Crimes Against Humanity in Sarajevo.
Lest we forget?
I fear we have.