UnNews:Death camp brightens up with extensive makeover

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6 December 2006

Auschwitz

New colors, paint, rustic facades improve the appeal of Nazi death camp.

WARSAW, Poland - The International Auschwitz Council agreed Tuesday to modernize and upgrade a large section of the Nazi death camp to give it more "curb appeal" and prevent the ruins of gas chambers from sinking into the ground.

The decision to renovate and spruce up the remains of the vast Nazi death camp in southern Poland marks a change in the long-standing approach to maintaining the site, which has until now been left as the Allies found it when they liberated the camp at the end of World War II.

But two of the gas chambers are slowly sinking into the ground and will likely become inoperable within the next two decades if nothing is done. Then if people want to exterminate more Jews, they would have to build all new gas chambers at considerable expense.

How to save them prompted debate on the council, with a majority favoring a Polish expert's proposal to halt the erosion by burying charred corpses into the ground on either side of the slipping chambers. Properly charred corpses are known to be a good soil stabilizer.

"So as long as we were fixing the gas chambers, we decided to go ahead with some long-overdue repairs elsewhere," said Piotr Cywinski, the new director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.

He added, "There will be fresh paint and bright flowers, a food court with a Starbucks, as well as a wi-fi spot and all sorts of fun new things to see and do. How can we get people to remember the horror if we can't get them to visit in the first place?"

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