Yad Vashem exhibition
Photo: AFP
Netanyahu receives blueprints in Germany
Photo: AFP

Auschwitz blueprints go on display in Israel

Yad Vashem Holocaust museum unveils original plans of Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi camps, where about one million Jews perished during World War II. Collection of 29 plans given to Prime Minister Netanyahu during visit to Germany in August

Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial will put on display this week original blueprints of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camps, where about one million Jews perished during World War II.


The collection of 29 plans was given to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit to Germany last August. Netanyahu later brandished some of the documents at the United Nations to denounce Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for calling the Holocaust a lie.


The exhibition in Jerusalem includes four of the colored sketches showing detailed aerial views of the camp and blueprints of its bunks and one of its crematoriums. Tens of thousands of other prisoners, including Polish, Roma and Soviet prisoners of war, also died at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest of the Nazi's concentration camp complexes.

Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev on backdrop of Auschwitz blueprints (Photo: AFP) 


After attending the exhibition's official opening on Monday, Netanyahu will travel to Poland to take part in a ceremony marking 65 years since the camps' liberation by the Red Army.


The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which commemorates the killing of six million Jews as part of the Nazi's "Final Solution".


'Complete collapse of human values'

Absent from the ceremony will be the original metal sign that hung at the entrance to the Auschwitz camp which carries the German motto "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work makes you free").


The sign was stolen last month, cut in three, and later recovered by Polish police. The original is being repaired and officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum in Poland said a back-up sign would be in place for the ceremony.


Along with the Jerusalem exhibition, a similar display with copies of the Nazi-era plans will be opened at the United Nations on Tuesday.


One blueprint shows the camp from the air, including the railway tracks that brought in new prisoners. Another was a plan for bunks meant to hold up to 200,000 inmates, signed by top Nazi Heinrich Himmler. The two others show plans and drawings of a crematorium and the camp's entrance.


Yad Vashem's chairman Avner Shalev said the four blueprints, drawn at different points during 1941 by architects and engineers, show the evolution of Auschwitz-Birkenau from concentration camp to death camp.


"We witness in these blueprints the complete collapse of human values," Shalev said.


The exhibit, called "Architecture of Murder", can also be viewed online at .


פרסום ראשון: 01.25.10, 08:38
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