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Poland thankful for Russia’s donation to Auschwitz-Birkenau museum

January 15, 2014, 20:42 UTC+3 WARSAW
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WARSAW, January 15. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s voluntary donation of $ 1 million to the Fund of the museum of the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau will help the restoration of that historic site, Piotr Cywinski told Itar-Tass Wednesday.

“We feel positive about the fact Russia has joined the projects because about 15,000 captive soldiers of the Red Army died there,” Cywinski said. “They had been kept in abhorring conditions.”

“Also, the Red Army liberated the concentration camp and provided initial aid to the atrophied former convicts,” he said.

A total of 28 countries have joined the project of setting up the foundation and to support one or another aspect of its activity. To date, its founders have raised 100 million euro of the 120 million euro they need.

All the dividends gained by the Foundation will be expended for restoration works. Among the installations requiring particular attention are the brick barracks for women in Birkenau that were built by the POWs from among the captive Soviet Army soldiers.

“These 50 barracks are in the worst condition today,” Cywinski said.

The Nazis annihilated more than a million Jews in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Various sources indicate that the total number of prisoners, who lost their lives on the territory of the camp, varied from 1.5 million to 2.0 million and about 15,000 of them were Soviet citizens.

The compound was liberated by a company of Soviet soldiers January 27, 1945. More than 200 Soviet enlisted men and officers died in and around the Polish town of Oswiecim then.

Efforts to turn the compound of the former camp into a museum started out in 1947, and the museum center has been developing ever since that time. Its staff is making tremendous efforts to keep up the evidence of Nazi crimes.

In 2013, a total of 1.33 million tourists visited the museum and a big part of them were students arriving there as part of various educational programs.

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