Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Shoes Stolen

From the BBC:
"Thieves steal Holocaust victims' shoes at Polish museum"

Eight shoes belonging to Jewish Holocaust victims have been stolen from a former concentration camp in Poland. The theft took place at the Majdanek museum near Lublin between 18 and 20 November, police said.  Previous items stolen from the museum include victim's ashes and a cap from a prisoner.  More than 78,000 people were sent to the gas chambers at Majdanek which was built by the Nazis in 1941 and abandoned in 1944. The shoes were reported missing after a museum employee realised that a wire net over a display of 56,000 shoes had been cut.  A spokesman from the museum said that the exhibit aimed to show visitors the scale of the Nazis' crime.  He said that the theft was "a great loss to the museum" as these objects have "huge historical value." In 2013, a Jewish prisoner's hat was stolen from Majdanak but was later recovered by the FBI after the thief tried to sell it online.  The ashes of victims from the camp's crematorium were also stolen in 1989 but were never recovered.  In October, an iron gate bearing the Nazi slogan "Arbeit Macht Frei" ("Work sets you free") was stolen from the former Dachau concentration camp in Germany.

^ It's clear that the different Holocaust Museums and Memorials (especially in Europe) are not able to correctly secure themselves are their artifacts. First Auschwitz, then Dachau and now Majdanak. The EU and its member states need to fix their flawed security systems in place to make sure these thefts aren't repeated. It may not seem like a big deal, but if everyone were to take a shoe or a hair brush, etc then evidence of what the Nazis did will also disappear. These are personal affects from the victims and survivors and need to be treated as irreplaceable (because they are.) ^


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