Since 1979, Auschwitz, the death camp that more than anything else is connected with the Nazi regime, has been a Unesco World Heritage site. Headlines this month are about the unprecedented efforts to restore the deteriorating death camp.
My question is: Why would anyone want to do that?
Many people visit the death camp as a show of solidarity with the victims, to remember the victims, and to show all living racists that the Jewish people will always prevail, that we are ready to defend our people, and that we will never allow another Holocaust. I understand that and in no way criticize the people who visit the death camp. The Holocaust was so terrible that there is no one universal way to cope with it.
However, preserving Auschwitz is also preserving the Nazis. A terrible unintended outcome. Something that the human race shouldn’t be doing.
It makes me wonder why would anyone want to preserve the memory of the Nazis? Why would anyone want to preserve the largest mass murder site the world has ever known? Why would anyone want to preserve a site that was so important to the Nazis, and in a terrible way, their most memorable accomplishment? Why would anyone want to make a place of unimaginable pain and suffering a pilgrimage destination?
There are other ways to remember and honor the Holocaust victims. We don’t need Auschwitz or any other death camp for remembering our relatives and the Nazi crimes against humanity.
Let Auschwitz fall. Let it disappear forever.
I’d be more satisfied to read headlines about a large bulldozer that leveled the place until all that is left of it is a cloud of dust.
Auschwitz is not a place to be preserved. It should have never been allowed to exist. The sooner it is gone, the sooner the last symbol of the Nazis is no more.
Restoration work in Auschwitz
“Unprecedented work at Auschwitz to preserve Holocaust site. Barracks at the site in which around 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were murdered in gas chambers and tossed into the crematoria, to be repaired in ‘largest preservation project in the history’ of Auschwitz-Birkenau…To date, donors have contributed 101 million euros, including 60 million from Germany, as well as big donations from the United States, Poland, France and Austria.” – YNET
“Public interest in the camp has never been higher. Visits have doubled this decade, from 492,500 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2009. Since Poland joined the European Union in 2004, Krakow has become a popular destination for foreign tourists, and Auschwitz is a must stop on many itineraries. A visit is also part of education programs in Israel, Britain and other countries. On peak days, as many as 30,000 visitors file through the camp’s buildings. The Polish government in 2009 asked European nations, the United States and Israel to contribute to a fund from which the Auschwitz museum could draw $6 million to $7 million a year for restoration projects, on top of its more than $10 million annual operating budget. Last December, the German government pledged $87 million—about half of the $170 million target endowment.” – Smithonian.com