New York, NY, August 29, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the mayor and municipal council of Lublin City in Poland to adopt measures to ensure that the area around the former Nazi concentration camp known as Majdanek is appropriately zoned to prevent the construction of a commercial crematory nearby.
The Polish funeral company Styks recently announced plans to construct a commercial crematorium next to the site of the former camp, which today serves as a state Holocaust memorial and museum that hosts thousands of visitors annually. Several years ago, ADL objected to a similar proposal by the same company, which ultimately was not allowed to proceed.
"It is difficult to adequately express the pain and insult which will result if this project goes forward," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor from Poland who has visited the site on numerous occasions. "The very idea that a company would consider locating a modern cremation facility adjacent to the sacred ground dedicated to the memory of those who suffered unspeakably and to the more than hundreds of thousands of Jews and others killed within its gates is reprehensible."
In a letter to Lublin City Major Krzysztof Zuk, the League called the proposal to build the crematory "outrageously insensitive," and urged the city to adopt new planning rules for the city that would ensure that the area around the camp cannot be used to build the facility.
The SS killed hundreds of thousands of Jews in the gas chambers at Majdanek. The bodies of the dead were destroyed in an on-site crematorium, which still stands. The former death camp is the site of a state museum, whose mission is to promote historical education about the German occupation in the Lublin region during World War II, particularly by means of commemorating the victims and documenting the history of the concentration camp.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.