130,000 Attend Dedication of Monument at Auschwitz for Nazi Victims
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130,000 Attend Dedication of Monument at Auschwitz for Nazi Victims

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Some 130,000 former victims of Nazi persecution from European countries which were under German occupation during the Second World War attended ceremonies here today for the dedication of a large stone monument at the site of the former Auschwitz concentration camp in memory of the 4,000,000 Jews and other martyrs put to death here.

Prime Minister Josef Cyrankiewicz of Poland, who spoke at the ceremonies, warned of attempts in West Germany to eradicate the memory of Nazi persecution. Another of the principal speakers was Prof. Robert Weitz, president of the International Committee for the Auschwitz Memorial. Israel was officially represented by Joseph Burg, Minister of Social Welfare.

Seventy other Israelis participated in the ceremonies, having come here especially for this purpose from Israel. Leading the Israeli delegation were S. Grajek, secretary of the Israeli Association of Partisans and Ghetto Fighters; and Chaya Grossman, a leader of Israel’s leftwing Mapam Party, and a heroine of the Jewish revolt in the Bialystok ghetto during the war.

The Israeli group was welcomed warmly by Hirsch Smoliar and Edward Rieber, leaders of the Jewish Social and Cultural Association of Poland. On behalf of Polish Jewry, the association issued a special proclamation, calling for "a mobilization of the whole of humanity to prevent a new world war" and urging "punishment for those war criminals who have this far escaped justice."

In commemoration of today’s event, the Polish Post Office issued several special postage stamps, one of them showing a photograph of the memorial. The $875,000 monument, designed by Polish and Italian artists, is made of granite. White blocks of rock, hewn in the shape of coffins, are spread over a quarter of an acre in the site, symbolizing the millions killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau. In the center rises a structure of granite cubes suggesting the chimneys of the crematoria. An eternal flame will mark the end of the railway line which carried the victims of Nazism to their deaths in the camp.

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