Greek exhibition opens at Auschwitz

At present, there are over a dozen exhibitions of particular countries at Auschwitz. Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

The fate of Greek Jews deported by Germans to the Auschwitz Nazi German death camp during WWII is presented through the stories of concrete people at a new temporary exhibition at the Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau in southern Poland.

Germans deported 54,600 Jews from Greece to Auschwitz in 22 transports between March 1943 and August 1944; 80 percent of them were murdered nearly immediately in gas chambers.

According to Andrzej Kacorzyk of the museum, the temporary exhibition "is a step towards a permanent exhibition about Greek Jews deported to Auschwitz."

Greek Parliament President Nikos Voutsis, quoted in a flyer, stressed that the permanent exhibition is to pay tribute to the victims who died in Auschwitz in 1942-1945. "This is the slightest expression of moral and historical obligation of our country towards the people murdered in Auschwitz, the majority of whom were Jews," he said.

Voutsis expressed his hope that the permanent exhibition will be completed by the end of this year.

At present, there are over a dozen exhibitions of particular countries at Auschwitz.

The Germans established the Auschwitz camp in 1940, initially for the imprisonment of Poles. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was established two years later. It became the site for the mass extermination of Jews. There was also a network of sub-camps in the complex. The Germans killed at least 1.1 million people at Auschwitz, mainly Jews but also Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners and people of other nationalities.

The camp was liberated by the Red Army on January 27, 1945. In 1947, the camp site was declared a national memorial site.