The director of the Auschwitz camp memorial equated Nazi crimes in World War II with Russian forces currently in Ukraine.
The director of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp memorial has compared the recent killing of people in Ukraine by Russian forces to similar suffering suffered during World War II.
On the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the camp, set up on Polish soil by Nazi Germany and where more than 1.1 million people – mostly Jews – perished in gas chambers and starvation , cold and sick, the director of the memorial site compared the Nazi crimes to those the Russians have recently committed in Ukrainian towns such as Bucha and Mariupol.
“Similar sick megalomania, similar lust for power and similar myths about uniqueness, greatness, primacy… only written in Russian. Innocent people are dying en masse in Europe, again,” director Piotr Cywinski said in an address to an audience including Holocaust survivors on Friday.
«The district of Wola in Warsaw, Zamojszczyzna, Oradour and Lidice today are called Bucha, Irpin, Hostomel, Mariupol and Donetsk,» he said, referring to places where massacres took place during the Second World War and sites where Ukraine and its allies accuse Russian forces. to commit atrocities.
“Silence means giving the authors a voice,” Cywinski said. «To remain indifferent is to condone murder,» he said.
“Russia, unable to conquer Ukraine, decided to destroy it. We see it every day, even while we are here.
Read the address of @Auschwitz Museum director for the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
«To be silent is to give the floor to the authors,
Staying neutral means reaching out to the rapist,
To remain indifferent is to condone murder.» pic.twitter.com/KGGcHArwNE
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) January 27, 2023
Established by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland in 1940, the camp became the largest of Adolf Hitler’s extermination centers.
Although the camp was liberated by the Soviet-era Red Army on January 27, 1945, Russian officials were not invited to participate in this year’s commemorations due to its war in Ukraine.
Valentina Matvienko, president of the upper house of the Russian parliament, deplored this “cynical” decision on Friday.
«They refused to invite the liberators so they could pay homage to the memory of the victims,» she said. «Of course, it’s very worrying.»
In a message on Telegram on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused the West of trying to rewrite history and said «the memory of the horrors of Nazism and Soviet liberator heroes cannot be erased».
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who attended celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the camp’s liberation in 2005, repeated on Friday his claim that Russian soldiers were fighting neo-Nazis in Ukraine.
“This is evidenced by the crimes against civilians, ethnic cleansing and punitive actions organized by neo-Nazis in Ukraine. It is against this evil that our soldiers are bravely fighting,” Putin said.
«Forgetting the lessons of history leads to the repetition of terrible tragedies,» he said.
During Friday’s commemorations, Holocaust survivors wearing hats and scarves with the blue and white stripes of camp uniforms laid candles on the ruins of a gas chamber.