Tuesday 27 September 2016

Showers installed for tourists near Auschwitz criticised for being 'insensitive'

Published 08/08/2016 | 20:59

The sprinklers have been installed at a car park near the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland Photo: Rafi Ostroff/Facebook
The sprinklers have been installed at a car park near the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland Photo: Rafi Ostroff/Facebook

Sprinklers have been installed near the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, leading to criticisms of insensitivity because of their perceived similarity to the Nazi gas chambers.

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“I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel comfortable going into a shower at the entrance to an extermination camp," Rabbi Rafi Ostroff wrote on Facebook, alongside pictures of the mist sprinklers.

"They apparently had good intentions in the face of the extreme heat, but [what about] a little sensitivity", he said, according to a translation by Haaretz.

"Am I exaggerating? Or am I again imagining the lack of sensitivity to the Jewish story by the heads of the museum.”

The museum distanced itself from the sprinklers, posting on Twitter to say they had not been installed by the museum and were not located on its premises.

The sprinklers were installed in a nearby car park run by the local municipality, the museum added.

Visitors to the museum complained about similar sprinklers last year, which were installed at the entrance to the memorial.

The memorial said the mist sprinklers had been installed to cool visitors to the museum and rejected the comparison between the sprinklers and the gas chambers.

"It is really hard for us to comment on some suggested historical references since the mist sprinkles do not look like showers and the fake showers installed by Germans inside some of the gas chambers were not used to deliver gas into them," the museum wrote on their Facebook page in August 2015. 

"Zyklon B was dropped inside the gas chambers in a completely different way - through holes in the ceiling or airtight drops in walls."

More than six million people, mostly Jews, were killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust – their "Final Solution to the Jewish Question".

Other victims included gypsies, homosexuals, the disabled and those considered to be political opponents.

Independent News Service

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