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In the Presence of Diplomats from some 80 Countries and the Prime Minister of Israel, Yad Vashem will open a New Exhibition Monday:

A media preview tour, with Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, will be held on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 12:00 noon. Registration Required: 02 6443410/2

21 January 2010

January 21, 2010 - Jerusalem) On Monday, January 25, 2010, as part of a symposium for the diplomatic corps in Israel, a new exhibition, Architecture of Murder: The Auschwitz-Birkenau Blueprints will open at Yad Vashem. On display will be original architectural blueprints of Auschwitz-Birkenau, given to Yad Vashem for safekeeping last summer by the German newspaper Bild, published by Axel-Springer.

The original plans detailing the construction of Auschwitz, constitute graphic illustration of the Germans systematic effort to carry out the Final Solution., said Avner Shalev, Chairman of Yad Vashem. We have chosen to display them to the public to illustrate how seemingly conventional activities of ordinary people brought about the construction of the largest murder site of European Jewry.

Marking the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, the opening will take place as part of a special symposium in the presence of dozens of members of the diplomatic corps - representing some 80 countries - and Auschwitz survivors, and with the participation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Prime Minister, Minister of Education Gideon Saar, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Holocaust survivor Ruth Bondy, Prof. Shlomo Avineri, Prof. Moshe Halbertal, Bild Editor Kai Diekmann, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum Director Dr. Piotr Cywinski, Historical Advisor to the exhibition Dr. Daniel Uziel, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council Rabbi Israel Meir Lau and Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate Avner Shalev will address the participants.

The exhibition was curated by Director the Museums Division Yehudit Inbar. Along with the blueprints, the photo album of the construction of Auschwitz will be exhibited for the first time. In addition, an aerial photo of Auschwitz from the RAF, the Vrba-Wetzler Report (written by two Jewish escapees from Auschwitz in 1944), and quotes from SS men and Jewish prisoners describing the site and its murderous purposes. A copy of the poem Death Fugue by Paul Celan will also be displayed.

The exhibition is funded thanks to the generous support of the Greg Rosshandler and Harry Perelberg families, Australia.

Media who wish to attend the opening event and seminar on Monday, January 25, must register at 02 6443410/2, media.relations@yadvashem.org.il and arrive at Mt Herzl at 10:00 with a valid GPO card. Arrival via shuttle from Mt. Herzl. Space is limited. The event will be in Hebrew and English.

A traveling version of the exhibition will open at the United Nations in New York in advance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day A traveling version of Architecture of Murder, supported by Israels Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Michaela and Leon Constantiner, will open at United Nations Headquarters in New York on January 26, 2010. The exhibition will open in the presence of Minister of Diaspora Affairs and Public Diplomacy Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev, Chairman of the American Society for Yad Vashem Eli Zbrowoski, and curator of the exhibition and Director of the Yad Vashem Museums Division Yehudit Inbar.

Yad Vashem's "Architecture of Murder: The Auschwitz-Birkenau Blueprints" Exhbition will be displayed at the United Nations through March 1, 2010.