Change Plaszow Concentration Camp For The Better

This is an email I sent to the Polish and Israeli Embassy in London. I also sent it to the British Embassy in Israel and Poland. The more signatures we get the more people will become aware of these situations and hopefully between us we can do something about it!

'ONE WHO DOES NOT REMEMBER HISTORY IS BOUND TO LIVE THROUGH IT AGAIN'-George Santayana
I am a 16 year old student who attends Yavneh College School in Hertfordshire. I recently participated on a 6 day educational trip to Poland and stayed in both Warsaw and Krakow. Over the course of the 6 day period, the group of 74 participants visited many different sites, most notably were Treblinka, the Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw, Auschwitz 1 and Birkenau. However, the site that had the greatest impact on me was when I entered what seemed to be an open space of land, which actually turned out to be Plaszow Concentration Camp. I along with all the other participants was horrified to learn and see what had become of the site of the Camp. As we arrived at the grounds of the old Camp, the only thing I could see which made me aware of the site I was entering was a little sign at the entrance, hardly noticeable, and two monuments erected in memory of those that died. Do two monuments really do justice in representing the death of the 8,000 that perished on this very land? As we walked down to the bottom of the hill, the 74 of us stood side by side in front of the second monument listening to the atrocities that had been performed there. To our shock and disgust, we notice the beams of a car light getting closer and closer to where the group was standing. This car had not come to join in the memorial service that we were carrying out but rather was driving for leisure purposes. As our memorial service came to a close at approximately 19:30, we noticed yet another person on the land who was also not commemorating what happened there. We watched a young man run through the grassy-land as if it was a running route. The man literally ran through the park as if he had run this route plenty of times beforehand, run directly over a mass pit of 2,000 dead bodies which were buried after suffering a torturous death. There are two questions that are running through my mind and causing me much disturbance. The first, why in Poland is there a man running over a mass pit where 2,000 people had been buried acting as though nothing had happened there? This is not something that would ever happen in England. The second question is why has the Polish government not done anything to protect the land? It is not just any piece of land, it is the site of a concentration camp and where bodies were buried in mass. It is not good enough to simply put up a single sign at the entrance of the site and have two monuments to remember all of what happened here. The site needs to be taken care of better and make people aware of what actually happened here. It is for this reason that I am writing to you, the people that have the power to influence the way we can remember history. This is not a simple project I know, but one that I am committed to and make sure that the Polish people are aware of what happened on the back gardens or doorsteps. Please can you advice me on what necessary steps I should take?

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    Julie Hodes, United States

    7 months ago Comments: Julie Hodes

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