Russian ‘megalomania’ in Ukraine war cited at death camp memorial | The World Wars News
The director of the Auschwitz camp memorial equated the Nazi crimes of World War II with Russian forces now in Ukraine.
The director of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp memorial has compared the recent killing of people in Ukraine by Russian forces to similar suffering in World War II.
Marking the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the camp set up by Nazi Germany on Polish soil, where more than 1.1 million people – most of them Jews – perished in gas chambers and from starvation, cold and disease, the leader compared memorial Nazi crimes against those Russians recently committed in Ukrainian cities like Bucha and Mariupol.
“Similarly sick megalomania, similar lust for power, and similar-sounding myths about uniqueness, greatness, primacy… written only in Russian. Innocent people are dying en masse again in Europe,” director Piotr Cywinski said in an address to an audience including Holocaust survivors on Friday.
“The districts of Wola in Warsaw, Zamojszczyzna, Oradour and Lidice are now called Bucha, Irpin, Hostomel, Mariupol and Donetsk,” he said, referring to places where mass killings took place during World War II and places where Ukraine and their allies accuse Russian forces of committing atrocities.
“Silence means giving perpetrators a voice,” Cywinski said. “Remaining indifferent is tantamount to condoning murder,” he said.
“Russia, unable to conquer Ukraine, has decided to destroy it. We see it every day, even as we stand here.”
Read the @AuschwitzMuseum director’s address on the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
“Silence means giving the perpetrators a voice,
Staying neutral means turning to the rapist
To remain indifferent is to condone murder.” pic.twitter.com/KGGcHArwNE
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) January 27, 2023
The camp was established by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland in 1940 and became the largest of Adolf Hitler’s extermination centers.
Although the camp was liberated by the Soviet-era Red Army on January 27, 1945, due to the war in Ukraine, Russian officials were not invited to attend this year’s commemorations.
Valentina Matvienko, speaker of Russia’s upper house, regretted this as a “cynical” move on Friday.
“They refused to invite the liberators so that they could pay tribute to the memory of the victims,” she said. “Obviously this is very worrying.”
In a post on Telegram on Thursday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused the West of trying to rewrite history, saying: “The memory of the horrors of Nazism and the Soviet hero-liberators cannot be erased will”.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who attended celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the camp’s liberation in 2005, repeated on Friday his claims that Russian soldiers were fighting neo-Nazis in Ukraine.
“This is evidenced by the crimes against civilians, ethnic cleansing and punitive actions organized by neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Our soldiers are fighting bravely against this evil,” Putin said.
“Forgetting the lessons of history leads to the repetition of terrible tragedies,” he said.
During commemorations on Friday, Holocaust survivors wearing hats and scarves in their blue and white striped camp uniforms laid candles on the ruins of a gas chamber.