Preserving Auschwitz

From 1989-1994, I was a member of the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation Auschwitz Preservation Advisory Committee. When we met, we had agonizing philosophical discussions about what should be done to the site and its contents. Should it be allowed to collapse or decay on its own? Would it be an insult to the victims’ memory if objects or buildings were conserved and then looked better? Would there be people with the emotional strength to work in such a place for months or even years? Twenty-one years later in Rachel Donadio’s article “Preserving the Ghastly Inventory of Auschwitz” published in today’s (April 16, 2015) New York Times, I found out the answers to the questions of what is being done, who is doing it, and how they approach their work.