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    Auschwitz concentration camp Museum. 20.01.2015 in Oswiecim, Poland. In the picture: barbed wire fence surrounded the camp

    Russia Upset at Polish Attempts to Rewrite Auschwitz History

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    Moscow has expressed surprise about Poland's assertion that the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was liberated by Ukraine.

    MOSCOW, January 22 (Sputnik) — Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin warned against revising history, as it pertained to the liberation of the infamous death camp Auschwitz, the Russian TV channel RT reports.

    Churkin made the remarks after an eyebrow-raising claim by Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna, who said that the camp had allegedly been liberated by Ukrainian troops from the First Ukrainian Front.

    Speaking at a UN conference commemorating the liberation of the camp in New York on Wednesday, Churkin reminded that it was Soviet Army soldiers who liberated Auschwitz concentration camp.

    He added that the Red Army gave the First Ukrainian Front its moniker "as it liberated Ukraine from the Nazis before reaching Poland through battles."

    "Like all other parts of the Red Army, [the front] was multinational and consisted of Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, representatives of the peoples of Central Asia, and many others [from the] more than 100 ethnic groups of the Soviet Union," Churkin said. 

    Asking his Polish counterpart Bogusław Winid to tell the Polish Foreign Minister about his mistake, Churkin expressed hope that Schetyna "didn’t intend to offend so many peoples."

    "It is our common duty to the victims of genocide and future generations – to protect the truth about WWII. Despite the shocking number of genocide victims, we see Waffen-SS veterans marching in European cities, which Nazis tried to demolish during [the war] at whatever cost. The Nazi past is being glorified, neo-Nazism is on the rise," Churkin said.

    His words were echoed by the Russian Foreign Ministry, which said in a comment that it is important "to respect the memory of all those who liberated Europe and to stop mocking…history."

    “It is really difficult to imagine that a government official of a level as high as Schetyna’s could be so ignorant. Incidentally, the 1st Ukrainian Front had the official name of the Voronezh Front prior to November 1943, and before that, it was the Bryansk Front," the ministry said.

    "We believe some individuals should stop deriding history and letting their anti-Russian hysteria push them to the brink of disrespect for those who didn't spare their lives to liberate Europe," the ministry added.

    At least 1.5 million people, including 15,000 Soviet citizens, were killed in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp during WWII.

    The commemoration of the camp's liberation is scheduled for January 27, with Russia due to be represented by the head of the presidential administration, Sergey Ivanov.

    Related:

    Vatican Donates 100,000 Euros to Preserve Auschwitz
    Ukraine’s Liberation From Nazis in WWII
    Ukraine’s Media Asked Not to Use ‘Liberation From Nazi Invaders’ Term With Respect to WWII
    Tags:
    concentration camp, history, genocide, WWII, Russian Foreign Ministry, Grzegorz Schetyna, Vitaly Churkin, Poland, Russia
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