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    A special tribute to the victims of Auschwitz

    Alexander Van der Bellen, President of Austria, Wolfgang Sobotka, Chairman of the National Council of Austria, and Prof. Piotr Gliński paid tribute to the victims of the German Auschwitz camp. In front of the Death Wall in the courtyard of Block 11, where the Germans shot many thousands of people, mainly Poles, during World War II, the leaders laid wreaths of roses on behalf of their countries.

    Alexander Van der Bellen, Wolfgang Sobotka and prof. Piotr Gliński, accompanied by, among others, former prisoner Marian Turski and the director of the Auschwitz Museum, Piotr Cywiński, opened the Austrian permanent national exhibition at the Memorial Site on Monday. It’s titled “So Far, So Close. Austria and Auschwitz”. It presents the fate of Austrian victims, their participation in the prisoner resistance movement, but also the involvement of people of this nationality in the crimes committed in the camp.

    The exhibition was created in post-camp block 17. It was prepared by the National Fund of the Austrian Republic for the Victims of National Socialism in cooperation with the Auschwitz Museum.

    On Monday, representatives of Austria and Poland visited the new exhibition, and then the former Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp, which is a symbol of the extermination of Jews.

    The Germans established the Auschwitz camp in 1940 to imprison Poles there. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was established two years later. It became the site of the extermination of Jews. There was a network of sub-camps in the camp complex. In Auschwitz, the Germans killed at least 1.1 million people, mostly Jews. Almost half of the approximately 140,000 to 150,000 Poles deported to the camp died. Romani people, Soviet prisoners of war, and people of other nationalities also died in Auschwitz.

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