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Polish funeral company wants to build crematorium near Majdanek death camp

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(JTA) — A Polish funeral company has announced plans to build a crematory near the Majdanek concentration camp.

The Anti-Defamation League said in a statement Wednesday that it had sent a letter to the mayor of Lublin in eastern Poland asking him to block the company, Styks, from going ahead with the plan.

More than 75,000 people were murdered at Majdanek during the Holocaust. The Nazi death camp covered 667 acres of land on the highway connecting Lublin, Zamosc and Chelm. It had seven gas chambers where inmates were killed and two crematoria where their bodies were cremated.

Majdanek is now a state Holocaust memorial and museum that hosts thousands of visitors annually.

Kuba Wyszynski, a journalist and member of the Jewish community of Warsaw, told JTA that Syks has made several bids at building the crematorium there over the past few years.

“It is difficult to adequately express the pain and insult which will result if this project goes forward,” said Abraham Foxman, ADL’s national director and a Holocaust survivor from Poland.  Foxman said the idea of building a modern crematorium near the former death camp was “reprehensible.”

In a letter to Lublin Major Krzysztof Zuk, the ADL called the proposal to build the crematory “outrageously insensitive” and urged the city to adopt new planning rules around the museum. 

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