Is it appropriate to sell ice cream just outside of

Is it appropriate to sell ice cream just outside of Auschwitz?

The museum of the former Nazi concentration camp considers this disrespectful and inappropriate for the context

For about ten days there has been much talk at the Auschwitz Museum, the most famous Nazi concentration camp in Poland, about an ice cream kiosk that has just opened near the entrance. The museum, for example, considers it inappropriate for the site and disrespectful of its tragic history, but also says it has no legal means to move it.

The Auschwitz concentration camp, which is estimated to have killed at least a million people, has been open to the public as a museum since 1946, the year after its prisoners were liberated at the end of World War II. Hundreds of thousands of visitors come there every year and lately it has often been the focus of controversy and debate due to the purely touristic and therefore, according to some, disrespectful attitude of some visitors.

The kiosk in question sells both ice cream and waffles, the honeycomb waffles that sold heavily in various European countries, and was set up in early May about 200 meters from the well-known entrance to the Auschwitz Museum, the place where loaded trains entered Number of deportees: before mainly Jews, but also members of the Roma ethnic group and prisoners of war.

The entrance to the Auschwitz Museum (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, file)

The owner of the kiosk is a private individual and the land on which it is built is private: the kiosk has a conspicuous pink sign that says ‘Icelove’, and several photos have been circulating for the past few days showing it and his Proximity to kiosk show museum entrance.

See more

The kiosk has been challenged by several residents of the area, who believe it is inappropriate to sell ice cream in a place like Auschwitz, which the survivors themselves say is dedicated to commemorating the Holocaust and where it is forbidden to eat and drink talking, phoning and sometimes taking photos, always as a sign of respect.

Paweł Sawicki, spokesman for the museum, called the kiosk “an example not only of bad aesthetic taste but also of disrespect for the nearby special historical site”. Sawicki told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, the world’s most important news agency for the Jewish community, that the kiosk opened in an area outside the museum’s legal perimeter and therefore management can’t do anything to close it or push it away. Sawicki said he hopes the city government will take action.

The mayor of Oświęcim, the Polish municipality where the museum is located, also intervened in this matter and informed that the kiosk was opened on the basis of an agreement between its owner and the property owner. The online magazine Notes from Poland writes that the city administration has launched some investigations to find out whether or not the opening of the kiosk received the approval of the provincial government – which the mayor said was necessary.

A city official later told Polish newspaper Gazeta Krakowska that a process to relocate the kiosk was underway, but it was unclear exactly when that would happen.

Controversy over how Auschwitz is experienced as a simple tourist attraction is common: often it’s about the smiling selfies that many visitors take outside the entrance or inside the site, other times it’s about the photos of those performing acrobatics on the train tracks Prisoners were deported. 2015 also saw debate over the museum’s decision to install water sprays to help visitors cool off during the hottest months, though some critics said these were similar to the “showers” inside the camps, i.e. the rooms where gases are used extermination of prisoners were used.

See more

Not everyone agrees that the presence of an ice cream kiosk in such a place is inappropriate.

Journalist Lev Gringauz, who works for a small Jewish community newspaper in Minnesota (USA), He pointed out on Twitter that the area of ​​Minsk, Belarus, where part of her family was killed by the Nazis because she was Jewish, is very close to a McDonald’s fast food restaurant. “As much as I wish that every place where the extermination of the Jews is commemorated was just a memorial, we have to live with the fact that these atrocities were committed in public space and that “normal” life goes on today, in these rooms,” wrote Gringauz.

Continue with the post