When the management at the Auschwitz Memorial took the decision to install sprinklers outside the formers Nazi concentration camp form Poland, their aim was to create some cool comfort for all the visitors and not to provoke a red-hot controversy.
Israeli media reported that Jewish visitors likened the misting stations to the “showers” used to exterminate people of their faith and they really felt offended.
The museum management said that the intent was a totally different one. The Auschwitz Memorial Facebook page said “Because of the extreme heat wave we have experienced in August in Poland, mist sprinklers which cool the air were placed near the entrance to the Museum.” The misters are placed near a ticket line at the access of the museum.
Meir Bulka told the Jerusalem Post: “As a Jew who has lost so many relatives in the Holocaust, they looked like the showers that the Jews were forced to take before entering the gas chambers.” However, officials at Auschwitz don’t see a connection.
The Facebook page said “It is really hard for us to comment on some suggested historical references since the mist sprinkles do not look like showers and the fake showers installed by Germans inside some of the gas chambers were not used to deliver gas into them.”
Auschwitz was the biggest of the Nazi concentration camps. Here was the place where the Nazis perfected their technique of mass murder, using Zyklon B gas pumped into rooms that had false showers.
About one million Jews have been executed at Auschwitz.