Russia set to open controversial new exhibit

Russia set to open controversial new exhibit

POSTED: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 10:00am

UPDATED: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 10:04am

On sunday Russia will open a new exhibit at the Auscwitz-Birkenau State Museum, several years after another controversial exhibit was closed by Poland's museum authorities. The previous exhibit was controversial because it referred to people seized in Polish territory in 1939 as "Soviet citizens." Polish officials made the case that calling people from eastern Poland, the Baltic states and part of Romania "Soviet citizens" was not only politically incorrect, but effectively historical revisionism.

Between 1940 and 1945 about 1.5 million people, mostly Jews, but others as well, died at Auschwitz in gas chambers or due to hunger, disease or forced labor. The creators of the new exhibit said they reached a compromise with Polish authorities about how to present certain issues, specifically Soviet occupation of Poland. The exhibit will include two maps placed side by side, one from September 1939 and one from 1941 to show what had changed. Auschwitz-Birkenau now houses a number of national exhibitions in old barracks that document the atrocities that were committed there.

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