Auschwitz museum denies closing exhibition

4th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

4 April 2007, Warsaw (dpa) - The Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum located in Oswiecim, Poland, on the site of the World War II Nazi German death camp, denied a Russian media report alleging it had shut down a Russian exhibition at the museum. Russia's Kommersant daily reported Tuesday the museum run by the Polish state had closed an exhibition detailing among others the fate of Soviet prisoners of war captured and incarcerated at Auschwitz by the Nazis. Disagreements over historical references resulting fro

4 April 2007

Warsaw (dpa) - The Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum located in Oswiecim, Poland, on the site of the World War II Nazi German death camp, denied a Russian media report alleging it had shut down a Russian exhibition at the museum.

Russia's Kommersant daily reported Tuesday the museum run by the Polish state had closed an exhibition detailing among others the fate of Soviet prisoners of war captured and incarcerated at Auschwitz by the Nazis.

Disagreements over historical references resulting from the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop or Hitler-Stalin pact of non-aggression between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union have "delayed" the opening of a new Russian exhibition, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum.

The controversy "concerns the names of lands and peoples, which in result of the activity of the USSR arising from the Ribbentrop- Molotov pact, fell under the control of the USSR between 1939-1941," the statement said.

"This regards the land of the Baltic states, eastern Polish territories and part of Romania - their populations cannot be regarded as Soviet citizens because they did not voluntarily renounce their original citizenship and did not freely decide to assume Soviet citizenship," the statement said. Talks with the Russians are underway to resolve the impasse over the exhibition, it concluded.

Under a secret protocol of the Hitler-Stalin pact, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union plotted the take-over of Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

The museum's position has been endorsed by the respected International Auschwitz Council.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau death complex, the largest of Nazi- Germany's death camps in occupied Poland, claimed the lives of 1.1- 1.5 million people, mostly European Jews, between 1940-1945. Poles, gypsies and Soviet prisoners of war were among its other victims.

It was liberated by the advancing Soviet Red Army on January 27, 1945 after the Hitler-Stalin pact had fallen apart.

DPA

Subject: German news

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