International Monument to the Victims of Fascism

International Monument to the Victims of Fascism, Birkenau

Between the ruins of Crematoria II and III (Crematorium I was partially destroyed by Jewish prisoners in October, 1944.) Unveiled and dedicated in April, 1967. Each plaque, in the ground, is in the language of a nationality or ethnic group that was persecuted at Auschwitz. English was added as the 20th (or 22nd, depending on the source) recently.

From one source, The inscriptions on the plaques under the monument were done in 19 languages: (1) Polish, (2) English, (3) Bulgarian, (4) Gypsy, (5) Czech, (6) Danish, (7) French, (8) Greek, (9) Hebrew, (10) Yiddish, (11) Spanish, (12) Flemish, (13) Serbo-Croatian, (14) German, (15) Norwegian, (16) Russian, (17) Romanian, (18) Hungarian and (19) Italian. At first glance, these multilingual plaques seemed to categorise the victims according to their ethnicity. In actual fact, they expressed the official nation-state categorisation, as almost all of them were done in the languages of the states whose citizens perished in the camp.

Photo 924, May 2007

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