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PICS | Former SS canteen at Auschwitz bears witness to Holocaust history

A photograph taken on 9 April 2021 reveals the outside of a former canteen constructing of SS guards at the previous Nazi Germany loss of life camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oswiecim, Poland.



  • As a manner to bear witness to a forgotten web page of Holocaust history, a Polish basis hopes to restore a canteen the place SS guards used to eat.
  • The space was additionally a spot the place guards would search distraction after lengthy days of killing at the previous Nazi German loss of life camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
  • One of the primary causes behind this initiative is that the constructing was the point of interest of the household and personal lifetime of the SS and served as escapism to troopers. 

A Polish basis hopes to restore a canteen the place SS guards ate and sought distraction after lengthy days of killing at the previous Nazi German loss of life camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, to bear witness to a forgotten web page of Holocaust history.

Built in March 1942 at Auschwitz – Europe’s largest World War II loss of life manufacturing unit – the huge eating corridor may home up to 4 000 individuals.

After the struggle it served as a cereal warehouse earlier than it was deserted and progressively fell into damage.

The SS “came here to have a bite, find some distraction, have a drink, take part in ceremonies, concerts, parties – all in the shadow of the monstrous crime that was Auschwitz-Birkenau,” mentioned Dagmar Kopijasz, one of many project organisers.

“This building was the focal point of the family and personal life of the SS… serving as a place where they came to forget their work which was to kill people,” Kopijasz instructed AFP at the location, the place Nazi Germany constructed its largest loss of life camp.

A photograph displaying the outside of a former canteen constructing of SS guards at the previous Nazi Germany loss of life camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

A former canteen constructing of SS guards at the previous Nazi Germany loss of life camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oswiecim, Poland.

Nazi concentration camp

Old practice tracks main previous a former canteen constructing of SS guards at the previous Nazi Germany loss of life camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oswiecim, Poland.

His organisation, the Foundation of Memory Sites Near Auschwitz-Birkenau (FPMP), was based eight years in the past to save from oblivion gadgets and buildings linked to the previous loss of life camp which might be exterior its bounds and past the authorized area of the location’s official museum.

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“From a historical point of view, the former canteen is interesting in terms of the social life of the camp staff,” Auschwitz museum spokesman Pawel Sawicki instructed AFP.

Once restored, the constructing may host official ceremonies or cultural occasions associated to the history of the camp and the Holocaust, in accordance to Kopijasz.

‘Wall of disgrace’

It may additionally include a type of “wall of shame” itemizing all of the SS names, perhaps even with pictures.

“That would complete the message” of Auschwitz, as it might function a reminder of the banality of evil at the previous loss of life camp, Kopijasz mentioned.

Although the inspiration has already begun its restoration work, Kopijasz mentioned that to full it they may have to attraction for worldwide crowdfunding.

He added: 

We’ve decreased the picture of a Nazi to that of a savage beast who does nothing however kill. But that is not your entire reality. These have been additionally odd individuals – professors, retailers, the neighbour subsequent door – who dedicated these crimes. We should not overlook that. We may use round $7.9 million.

Nazi Germany constructed the Auschwitz loss of life camp within the southern city of Oswiecim after occupying Poland throughout World War II.

The Holocaust web site has grow to be an emblem of Nazi Germany’s genocide of six million European Jews, a million of whom died at the camp between 1940 and 1945 together with greater than 100 000 non-Jews.


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