20 years later, the U.S. returns Auschwitz barracks to Poland


Unable to extend the loan of half of historic structure to Holocaust Museum in Washington, its return was finally achieved this week.



Officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp museum say half a historic barracks that was on loan to the United States has been returned to Poland after two decades and long negotiations.

Auschwitz Barracks - Photo: IsraelandStuff/PP

Auschwitz Barracks – Photo: IsraelandStuff/PP


The barracks was at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, which wanted the lease extended. But Polish regulations passed in 2003 allow only five-year loans and Poland asked for its return soon after. Following years of negotiations, the Holocaust Museum agreed in October to return it.

The museum said on its website that the wooden structure arrived at Poland’s port of Gdynia on Sunday.

The barracks will undergo conservation and be joined with its other half. The structure served as hospital at Birkenau.

Between 1940 and 1945, the Nazis killed some 1.5 million people, mostly Jews, at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.


View original HAARETZ publication at: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.566060