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Poland Adopts Plan to Aid Preservation of Auschwitz

October 10, 1996
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An Auschwitz Museum Council leader has called for a meeting with Polish officials to discuss how to use the funds Poland approved for better management and care of the former death camp and surrounding area.

The multimillion-dollar plan that Poland adopted Tuesday came after groups worldwide bristled at the construction of a shopping complex adjacent to the camp, where nearly 2 million people were killed during World War II. Many saw the building of a mini-mall on the site as an offense to the memory of the Nazi victims.

Original plans for the ill-fated shopping center — work on the site has since stopped — called for a supermarket, a home and garden center, and a fast-food restaurant, among other businesses.

Now, under the first stage of the new plan, a top Polish official said, about $21 million will be set aside for the care of the area, with more than half of those funds going to administering a protected zone around the camp, it was reported.

Inappropriate development in the zone around the camp would be prevented or removed, it was reported.

The chairman of the business and finance committee of the Auschwitz Museum Council, Kalman Sultanik, said in a telephone interview here Wednesday that he asked Polish leaders to meet with the committee in January 1997 at Auschwitz.

The museum council is the body charged with protecting the integrity of the Auschwitz grounds.

“We are very pleased,” Sultanik, also the vice president of the World Jewish Congress, said of Poland’s newly adopted plan. “We are also not finished” with matters concerning the camp.

Sultanik added that he would contact the president of Poland to thank him for his efforts.

The goal of the new project is to ensure “fitting reverence for the place of the mass extermination of Jews and the martyrdom of the Polish and other nations,” Leszek Miller, Poland’s Cabinet chief of staff, reportedly said at a news conference there.

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