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House Expected to Decry Auschwitz Mini-mall Plans

A U.S. representative has charged that a plan to construct a mini-mall opposite the Auschwitz death camp violates international law.

Poland is a signatory to the 1972 United Nations Convention on the Protection of World Cultural and National Heritage,” under which Auschwitz was designated a “historical site and place of human testimony,” according to Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.).

The international accord established a 1,600-foot special zone around Auschwitz to protect it from commercial development.

Engel introduced Thursday in the House of Representatives a resolution calling upon the Polish government to comply with its international obligation and permanently halt the construction.

Engle introduced Thursday in the House of Representatives a resolution calling upon the Polish government to comply with its international obligation and permanently halt the construction.

Last week, the Polish government called for halting the project until the end of April, when the Auschwitz Museum Council will consider the matter.

Construction stopped after a Polish retailing outfit withdrew its participation this week from the plan to sell food and other services.

“The plans to build a mini-mall with fast food and clothing stores in an insult to the solemnity that the mass graveyard of 1 million Jews and others demand,” Engel said.

Unless the world “fights to save this sacred site from those who would callously commercialize the Holocaust, the memories of all of our friends and families who were lost in its immeasurable cruelty will be defiled,” he said.

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