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


  1. brenda says:

    This is extremely sad, because, The USA soldiers bleed and died, giving freedom to Europe. Our money was spent for polands freedom. This should be a gift to the USA for their help.

    • There’s some truth in your words. But, then they would have to give away many parts of Auschwitz to each of the allied countries that fought in WWII, should they ask.

      The Law that Poland passed is fair. The US had the original long enough to produce an exact replica with pictures and an explanation why the original isn’t there on display.

      What’s important IMHO, is that there isn’t accusations that the new display is not realistic, a point Holocaust-deniers use.

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