Back in the late 80's when I was in a touring Rock band we played a six week tour of the British and US army bases in Germany playing mainly squady bases in Munster, Hannover, Osnabruck, Soest and Frankfurt to name a few.
We were met with open arms when we turned up to play the gig at each of the bases and we had a great time entertaining the troops during our stay.
On one occasion at one of the bases in Osnabruck we grabbed a ride/tour in a jeep to an area within the base which was known to be a concentration camp..It was really spooky and not a nice atmosphere to be in at all.
What was left was a few crumbled ruined buildings surrounded by what I can only describe as a perimeter of forest trees.
One of the buildings which was pretty much intact was the main office building and above the door was a scary looking Nazi Eagle symbol peppered with bullet and shell holes.
The lads who patrol the area told me that they dread doing night shifts around the perimeter on foot as the noises you hear make you sh*t your pants. No birds sing in the pine trees nearby and it's a horrible shitty atmosphere to experience with all kinds of weird sounds f**king with your head as you patrol round.
We also toured Brittany around 2001, landing at an airstrip in a dodgy plane from Jersey just south of St Malo and went on to play some great gigs around the area including places like Cherbourg and Brest (Our road crew travelled by road / ferry from Dover-Calais onwards
During the time we were there and driving around we came across some relics and ruins along the coast and roadsides (Tanks, artillery positions, bunkers, outposts) which were amazing to see first hand.
Whilst we were there we played at a local bar in a small village outside Saint Renan and the owner showed us a nearby farmhouse which the SS used to interrogate the French Resistance..
There are place like this all over Northern France.
My wife has some relatives near the area of Macon and with the wonders of technology and facetime/skype have been able to keep in touch and we have arranged a summer visit..
They tell me they are not far from the city of Vichy which I'd like to explore.
I like France, Its a lovely country with so much history to it.
Trouble is, their wine is the best in the world.