Is Sobibor to be the new ‘Disneyland’ of Nazi death camps?

Published here for the first time, a fragment of a ceramic cup excavated at the former Nazi death camp Sobibor, in eastern Poland, printed with a Mickey Mouse cartoon is seen. The artifact was unearthed by archeologists Wojtek Mazurek and Yoram Haimi several months ago, and photographed on Nov. 11, 2014, outside Sobibor (photo credit: Matt Lebovic/The Times of Israel).
Without a fence or a guard, Polish visitors walk their pets and ride bikes while crunching human bones lying exposed on the grounds.

By Matt Lebovic|The Times of Israel

In the middle of Polish nowhere and just the size of a football field or two, the former Nazi death camp Sobibor is packed with action.

Three months ago, Polish and Israeli archeologists excavated the symbolic core of the one-time killing center, the Nazi-built gas chambers where 250,000 Jewish men, women and children from all over Europe were murdered during the Holocaust.

Above these sensitive Holocaust remains, as well as atop the adjacent area of mass graves, cyclists regularly weave their way through the former death camp, known among locals as a “shortcut” between roads. Sobibor also attracts numerous dog walkers — and even some cat walkers.

During The Times of Israel’s visit to Sobibor on November 11 – Poland’s National Day – several visitors were observed picking through the newly dug out gas chamber remains – mostly bricks – and poking around in the sand with their feet.

To say that oversight and maintenance at Sobibor are below that of most public parks would be an understatement.

Each spring thaw, like clockwork for three generations now, the grounds literally spit out the most sensitive evidence of the Holocaust – the remains of Sobibor’s victims, in the form of hundreds of bone fragments — some the size of coins — left over from the Nazis’ attempt to destroy the evidence.

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