Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

Auschwitz Birkenau
German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945)

Poland
Factors affecting the property in 1996*
  • Commercial development
  • Localised utilities
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

Threat to the integrity of the property (not specified - tobacco factory project?)

International Assistance: requests for the property until 1996
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 1996**
Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1996

After receiving information concerning the construction of a supermarket within the close proximity of the Auschwitz concentration camp, thought to be within the UNESCO "protective zone", the Centre responded immediately by sending a letter to the Permanent Delegation of Poland to UNESCO. So far the information received indicates that the construction has been halted and an investigation is being undertaken by a Special Commission, under the presidency of an ICOMOS member.

Action Required

In view of the information provided by the Secretariat regarding construction works thought to be within the World Heritage protective zone, the Bureau requested the Centre to write a letter to the national authorities encouraging them to review the boundary zone and to redefine the nature of their protection.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1996

At its twentieth session, Paris, June 1996, the Bureau "commended the Government of Poland on halting the construction works in the immediate vicinity of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, [and] urged the authorities to devise a plan for the preservation of the site and its immediate surroundings and keep the Committee informed on this matter".

Since, and although additional assurance has been given by the Polish authorities that construction works have stopped, the Secretariat was informed that Philip Morris Company has announced its intention to go ahead with the construction of a cigarette factory adjacent to the Camp.

The Secretariat immediately informed the Polish Permanent Delegation of this event, and asked the Polish authorities "to take all the necessary action in order to ensure that the integrity of Auschwitz-Birkenau is respected".

At the time of the preparation of this report, no response has been received from the Polish authorities.

Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 1996

The Bureau may wish to adopt the following text and transmit it to the Committee for noting:

"The Bureau requests the Government of Poland to ensure that construction works in the immediate vicinity of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp have stopped, and urges it to start immediately the elaboration of the management/ preservation plan for the site and its surrounding area. In this planning process, the Bureau also urges the Polish authorities to discuss the various problems and eventual solutions with ICOMOS, and consult with the various international organizations concerned with this issue. The Bureau recommends that the Committee be kept informed about this activity."

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 1996
20 BUR IV.7
Auschwitz Concentration Camp (Poland)

The Bureau commended the Government of Poland on halting the construction works in the immediate vicinity of the Auschwitz concentration camp. It urged the authorities to devise a plan for the preservation of the site and its immediate surroundings and to keep the Committee informed on this matter.

20 COM VII.D.54/55
SOC: Auschwitz Concentration Camp (Poland)

VII.54 Auschwitz Concentration Camp (Poland)

At its twentieth session, the Bureau commended the Government of Poland on halting the construction works in the immediate vicinity of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. It urged the authorities to devise a plan for the preservation of the site and its immediate surroundings, and keep the Committee informed on this matter.

The Secretariat informed the Committee that since then, and although additional assurance had been given by the Polish authorities that construction works had stopped, it had received information that a cigarette company had announced its intention to go ahead with the construction of a cigarette factory adjacent to the site.

The Secretariat immediately informed the Polish Permanent Delegation of this event, and asked the Polish authorities "to take all the necessary action in order to ensure that the integrity of Auschwitz-Birkenau is respected".

After having taken note of the concern of the Bureau regarding projects of the Phillip Morris Company, the Committee listened to an intervention by the Observer of Poland, who indicated that the project was not a new construction but the transfer of ownership of a tobacco factory which has been functioning for eighty years, under State monopoly, and situated 300 metres from the former camp. He furthermore indicated that a report on this subject would be provided by the Polish authorities before the next Bureau session.

The Committee expressed its strong concern with regard to this new threat which, immediately following the building project of a supermarket, threatens once again the symbolic character of this property, inscribed under cultural criterion (vi).

Report year: 1996
Poland
Date of Inscription: 1979
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (vi)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


top