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    Jewish Congress decries closure of Auschwitz Russian unit

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    The Russian Jewish Congress has lamented the attempts to use the Russian exposition at the Auschwitz Museum as a political weapon, the RJC president said Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Jewish Congress has lamented the attempts to use the Russian exposition at the Auschwitz Museum as a political weapon, the RJC president said Tuesday.

    Auschwitz, located in southern Poland, was the largest of the Nazi concentration camps.

    The Russian section of the museum was closed several months ago and, according to Kommersant daily, the museum administration is only prepared to reopen it if Russia recognizes the occupation of Polish territories by the USSR.

    "More than 300,000 Soviet soldiers died in the battle of Auschwitz. It is as blasphemous to deny their heroism as it is to downplay the Holocaust," Vyacheslav Kantor said.

    He said political considerations of expediency must not prevail over historical justice.

    Russia's Foreign Ministry expressed incomprehension and concern over the decision to close the Russian section, warning against speculation around the memory of victims of the concentration camp.

    Auschwitz took its name from the nearby town of Oswiecim, situated about 50 kilometers west of Krakow and 286 kilometers from Warsaw. Following the Nazi occupation of Poland in September 1939, Oswiecim was incorporated into Germany and renamed Auschwitz.

    About 1.1 million people were exterminated in the camp.

    Methods of killing people at Auschwitz included, primarily, gassing with Zyklon-B, systematic starvation, lack of disease prevention, individual executions and so-called medical experiments accounted for the rest.

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