Skip to comments.Auschwitz exhibition irritates Poles
Posted on 04/05/2007 11:55:58 PM PDT by Nachum
A disagreement over a Russian exhibit at the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz has emerged as a new irritant in relations between Russia and Poland, where resentment of Cold War domination by Moscow remains strong.
The camp museum has delayed the opening of the Russian-designed exhibition because it uses the term "Soviet citizens" to refer to people taken to Auschwitz from former Polish territory seized by the Soviet Union at the start of World War II, said museum head Piotr Cywinski.
"Why is Russia still interpreting Stalinist times this way?" Cywinski said during an interview on Radio Tok FM.
The museum said in a statement that residents of the occupied areas "by no means can be viewed as USSR citizens, as they did not renounce voluntarily their former citizenship and did not accept, as the result of an independent decision, Soviet citizenship."
Russian newspapers have accused Poland this week of closing the exhibition for political reasons. The Russian daily "Kommersant," for one, called the matter a "new stumbling block in RussianPolish relations."
Director Cywinski said the exhibit was closed at Russian request in 2004 for a planned update. He did say, however, that the reopening had been delayed by the disagreement over the "Soviet" citizenship the exhibition ascribes to residents of eastern Poland, the Baltic states and part of Romania - territories taken over the Soviet Union between 1939-41.
"You cannot say a resident of Lviv - a Pole or a Jew - was a Soviet" citizen, Cywinski said. Lviv, formerly in eastern Poland, is now in Ukraine
My wife and I visited a new WWII museum two summers ago. The museum was dedicated to the Polish Uprising in Warsaw. Our Polish guide was very emotionally involved with the presentation. He was upset that history has ignored the Polish people who were sent to the death camps when Russian and Germany divided up Poland. The intent was to destroy all the intelligent and educated people so that the Poles could be used as slaves.
The only story told now is of the Jews who were sent to those same death camps, but they were built for the Poles.
One of the college students visiting the museum with us said that his Grandfather and Grandmother fled Warsaw with his Uncle as the Germans invaded from Gdansk on the Baltic coast. Unfortunately, they arrived on the Russian border at the same time that Russian troops were arriving by train to invade from the east. His relatives took a return train to Warsaw. His uncle was captured and forced into slave labor on a German farm. The German farmer treated him reasonably and let him loose when the allies invaded Germany.
These people have not forgotten! That’s one reason they stand with us in Iraq.
Eastern European ping.
If it were not for the Russians/Soviets, there might have been no Auschwitz.
one of the most powerful memories of our trip this past
week to germany was the day we visited a camp in eastern
bavaria. our kids have studied ww2 and have been to the
museum in d.c. to actually stand on the very grounds of
a camp and read through what actually took place on those
grounds was truly chilling.
the last external link in that wiki article gives great
details and pictures of the camp from the 40’s and now.
Could you please elaborate on that? Is it regarding the Nazi-Soviet "Peace" treaty?
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