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Nixon Visits Warsaw Ghetto; Lays Wreath at Monument for Killed Jews

August 5, 1959
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Standing beside the memorial to the more than 70, 000 Jews who fought and died in the famous Warsaw Ghetto, near the very bunker which served as the last bastion of the Jews against the Nazi onslaught, Vice President Richard M. Nixon today called on all men to “unite against such prejudices because here we see again what happens when such passions which are allowed to be nourished are unleashed. “

Picking his way through the ruins of the bunker, the Vice President remarked: “I think this ruined building, even more than the memorial, brings home some lessons we forget too quickly. ” The memorial to which Mr. Nixon referred is currently being built by the Polish Government. The plans for the monument were selected through a contest in which over 500 of the world’s foremost artists competed. The memorial is being made from the stones which the Nazis had planned to use for a monument to Hitler’s “1, 000-year Reich. “

Mr. Nixon was visibly stirred as he toured the sight of one of Hitler’s gravest acts of inhumanity. He placed a wreath of flowers before the as yet unfinished monument. “As we see this memorial,” the Vice President said, “we realize the importance of avoiding another war. “

When completed, the Warsaw Ghetto memorial will consist of a broad path cutting diagonally across the ghetto site. Lining the path on either side will be twenty-three large marble blocks connected by heavy metal links. The blocks are meant to represent each of the countries whose citizens were exterminated at the nearby Treblinka concentration camp, while the metal chains portray the Nazi trains which carried these people to their death.

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