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      Polish Government Saves Sobibor Museum

      The Polish government has stepped in to save the museum at the Sobibor concentration camp from closing due to lack of funds.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 6/5/2011, 4:44 PM / Last Update: 6/6/2011, 12:12 AM

      The Polish government has stepped in to save the museum at the Sobibor concentration camp from closing due to lack of funds.

      At least 20,000 people visit the site each year to learn about the camp where some 250,000 Jews and Gentiles were murdered by the Nazis.

      However, last Thursday the administrators of the museum said it would have to close because the regional government had allocated an insufficient budget.

      Public criticism led to a last-minute announcement by the Polish Minister of Culture that the museum would be administered by the Majdanek museum – also the site of a Nazi death camp -- in nearby Lublin.

      “Holocaust survivors were relieved to learn the Polish authorities reversed course and agreed to reopen the Sobibor museum,” said Elan Steinberg, vice president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, in a statement.

      “Its closure was a moral taint and unworthy of Poland which itself suffered so grievously under the Nazi yolk. We trust that such precipitous closures will not occur again. The demands of memory have prevailed on this occasion and they should not fall to shortsighted concerns in the future.”