Right after the war, there occurred ideas - which fortunately have not been implemented - to demolish the remains of Auschwitz-Birkenau and plough the area up. The justification given was that a place of such cruel murder should vanish from the face of the Earth.As some of you may know, the "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign displayed above the Auschwitz gate was stolen earlier this month; it was recovered this week in the woods and had been cut into three pieces. I have been following this story pretty closely, because it involves a lot of things that are of interest to me.
I do not wish to say that the intentions were not honourable, but in my view disguised behind them were other, not entirely realised, motivations. When a man commits evil, he tries to obliterate its traces.
Auschwitz-Birkenau is like a continuous sting of remorse that torments humanity, especially Europe. It is a sting of remorse for every person who is indifferent to the suffering of others.
Auschwitz-Birkenau must forever remain an unhealed, burning wound, which wakes people up from moral lethargy and forces them to take responsibility for the fate of our world.
-Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Chairman of the International Auschwitz Council; two-time former foreign minister for Poland; Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor
( This gets even longer. )