WARSAW, January 24. /TASS/. Warsaw’s crusade to tear down Red Army monuments is a disgrace to the country, said former prisoner of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland, Bogdan Bartnikowski.
On January 27, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the whole world will remember the tragic death of millions of innocent people at the hands of the Nazi oppressors. The largest extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau was freed by the Red Army 74 years ago.
"This is a disgrace," the death camp survivor said, commenting on the campaign to demolish Red Army monuments that Poland has been conducting over the recent years. "Six hundred thousand [Red Army soldiers] were killed there in Poland," he stressed.
Bartnikowski was placed in the extermination camp in August 1944 at the age of 12. In January 1945, he and his mother were taken to Berlin to clear debris. There he was liberated by Red Army soldiers and was able to return to Warsaw.
On October 21, 2017, an updated law on de-communization came into effect in Poland, which stipulates the demolition of monuments and memorials that pay "tribute to people, organizations, events and dates that symbolize communism or any other totalitarian regime." The law assigns the Institute of National Remembrance the role of the nation’s main advisory body that local authorities may follow. Its experts labeled about 230 Red Army monuments in the country as ‘propagating communism.’ Most of them have already been dismantled, despite multiple protests from the Russian side.
The Polish authorities intend to transport the fragments of many Soviet monuments nationwide to the Podborsko 3001 Cold War Museum, which was created in 2017 on the territory of a former Soviet military depot.