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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

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  • 27 January 2015

    Information about the commemorations and media pack - editor's notes on Nazi German death camps

    The upcoming 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau will be commemorated in front of the Death Gate of KL Auschwitz II–Birkenau on 27th January 2015. The organisers of the commemoration are the International Auschwitz Council and the Auschwitz Memorial. The commemoration will be held under the patronage of President Bronisław Komorowski, who will also be present during the ceremony. This year, the focus of the event will be on the remaining Auschwitz survivors, three of whom will give public speeches. Following the decision of the International Auschwitz Council, the programme will not feature speeches from politicians.

     

    In the run up to this important event, the Auschwitz Memorial has prepared a set of basic, though not always universally known, facts regarding the concentration camp. They are designed to help prepare materials and to avoid slip-ups, which include the commonly used, misleading phrases “Polish death camps” and “death camps in Poland”. These terms falsify history. Auschwitz-Birkenau was established and managed by the order of Nazi German authorities. It is true that before the outbreak of World War II, Auschwitz (Oświęcim) was a Polish city; however the KL Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was German and it was established on a territory by then directly incorporated into the German Reich. This is an important distinction to make, as otherwise one runs the risk of unintentionally blurring historical truth about some of the most horrific crimes perpetrated in the 20th century. To further highlight the sensitivity of this subject, on 27th June 2007, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO changed the name of the Auschwitz-Birkenau heritage site to: "the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi German concentration and extermination camp 1940-1945".

     

    when referring to the past:

    Polish death camp  - > advised form: Nazi German death camp

    death camp in Poland  - > advised form: Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland

     

    when referring to the present:

    Auschwitz death camp in Poland  - > advised form: Auschwitz Memorial, now in Poland

     

    1. The programme of the commemoration and other information is available at the portal http://70.auschwitz.org

    2. Information about the camp - media pack prepared by the State Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau can be found here.
    3. IPN portal dedicated to historical knowledge about Nazi German labour, concentration, and extermination camps: http://www.truthaboutcamps.eu/
    4. Ministry of Foreign Affairs portal "Against Polish camps": http://www.msz.gov.pl/en/foreign_policy/against_polish_camps/

    5. Hundreds of documents and photos that are being stored in the archive of the Auschwitz Memorial are being presented by the Google

    Cultural Institute.

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