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Auschwitz unveils Russia exhibit to mark liberation
Sergey Naryshkin (R), chairman of the Russian State Duma, attends the opening of a Russian exhibition at the memorial site of the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Oswiecim, Poland, on Holocaust Day, January 27, 2013. The opening of the exhibition took place 68 years after the liberation of the death camp by Soviet troops, in rememberance of the victims of the Holocaust. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI.
OSWIECIM (AFP).- Russia on Sunday unveiled an exhibition honouring its soldiers at the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum, site of the former Nazi German death camp in southern Poland, on the anniversary of the camp's liberation.

The unveiling, which marked 68 years to the day since the Soviet Red Army liberated the camp in 1945, was attended by Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and parliament speaker Sergei Naryshkin.

Russia is among several countries that have national exhibitions at the site, including Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Hungary and Slovakia.

The display traces the fate of the Russian soldiers who died at the camp, as well as of those who liberated it.

"Between 15,000 and 16,000 Soviet soldiers died in Auschwitz," museum director Piotr Cywinski told AFP.

In 2005, the museum scrapped a previous Russian exhibition because of diverging historical accounts from Moscow and Warsaw regarding the nationality of certain victims.

"From the beginning, I was convinced that the site needed a Russian exhibition, just as I was convinced that the discrepancies from the 2005 exhibition needed to be corrected," Cywinski said.

More than one million people, mostly European Jews, perished at Auschwitz-Birkenau, operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland from 1940 to 1945.

Among the camp's other victims were tens of thousands of non-Jewish Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, gypsies and anti-Nazi resistance fighters from across Europe.


© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse



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