Update June 27, 2015:
The photo below accompanies a news article about the recent theft of artifacts from Auschwitz.
Is Auschwitz-Birkeanu located on a hillside? No, the place where the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp was located is flat as a pancake. Only the camera was tilted. This photo should have been straightened in Photo Shop.
Update June 25, 2015:
This quote is from the Guardian, a British newspaper:
“Two British schoolboys arrested at Auschwitz have each received a year’s probation, suspended for three years, and a 1,000 zloty (£170) fine after admitting stealing artefacts from the former Nazi death camp.”
Included in the news article, cited above, is a photo of the precious items that were stolen.
Continue reading my original post:
This morning, I was shocked to read in a news story that two British teenagers had spent a night in jail after being arrested for stealing precious artefacts from the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial site.
This quote is from the news story:
Two British schoolboys were spared jail yesterday after stealing artefacts that belonged to prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Marcus Dell and Ben Thompson, both 17, were arrested during a school trip to southern Poland to learn about the horrors of the Holocaust.
The pair, who attend Cambridge’s exclusive The Perse School where fees are more than £15,000 a year, were spotted acting suspiciously on Monday afternoon.
My first impression was that these boys had somehow managed to take items from the glass cases in Block 5, one of the buildings in the Auschwitz museum.
Blocks 4, 5, 6, and 7 at the former Auschwitz I concentration camp have been converted from barracks into museum rooms with glass display cases. All of these exhibit buildings are located on the second cross street, to your right after you enter through the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate into the main Auschwitz camp.
In Block 5, there are displays devoted to the “Material Evidence of Crime.” One of the saddest sights at Auschwitz is the display of shoes in a huge glass case that takes up half a barracks room in Block 5. The shoes seem to be deteriorating and are mostly the same dark gray color, except for a few women’s or children’s shoes that are made of red dyed leather. The red shoes stand out like the red coat worn by the little girl in Schindler’s List, a black and white picture.
Did these British teenagers break the glass in the display cases at Auschwitz and steal several items, while thousands of witnesses watched?
There are currently 1.5 million visitors per year at Auschwitz, and it is almost impossible to get up to the glass cases to see the items on display. On my second trip to Auschwitz in 2005, I wanted to take a photo of the stairs that have been worn down by millions of footsteps, but it was impossible because of the steady stream of visitors, which did not stop for a second.
However, the news article explained that the boys had been digging in the location of the building, known as Canada, where all the clothing taken from the Jews had been stored.
I think that the folks at the Auschwitz museum should be glad that these young boys have found a few precious objects to add to the evidence of the murder of the Jews at Auschwitz. Every item that was ever touched by a Jew at Auschwitz is precious and should be preserved for time and all eternity.