Protection of the ruins of the gas chambers II and III in Birkenau
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Protective work at the ruins of gas chambers II and III at the Auschwitz-Birkenau site ended. The ruins of the gas chambers and crematoria constitute some of the most important material evidence of the crime of the Holocaust. The ruins of crematoria 2 and 3 are located below the ground level. Protection of those unique places demands stopping the soil from putting pressure on the ruins. In 2008 and 2009 the ruins of gas chamber II and III were protected.
The condition of the ruins is deteriorating from year to year, due to atmospheric conditions, the high level of ground water, the natural erosion of the building material, the pressure of the earth against the parts of the gas chamber walls that are still in existence, and, at times, the irresponsible behavior of groups of visitors. Thanks to this necessary work the remains of the extermination machinery will still be a warning for the future generation.
The original structure of the ruins was not touched. In a distance, around the ruins of the gas chambers, a special protective construction was prepared, using the micropile method. With the approval of the International Auschwitz Council and the Małopolska Monuments Officer, and in consultation with UNESCO experts, a team of professional specialists chose this technology as the method for preventing the complete collapse of the ruins.
The Ronald S. Lauder Foundation and the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum paid for the work, which was carried out under diligent supervision by conservation specialists and archaeologists. The head rabbi of Poland, Michael Schudrich, exercised rabbinical oversight.