Poland to mark little-known Nazi camp

Local officials say Pustkow camp, where 15,000 died, must not be forgotten.

holocaust survivor 298.8 (photo credit: Associated Press)
holocaust survivor 298.8
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Authorities are working on plans to mark a little-known Nazi concentration camp and nearby military installation. The Pustkow labor camp, where 15,000 inmates died, was dismantled before the end of the war, and local official Andrzej Regula said Thursday it needs to be recognized before its existence is forgotten with the passage of time. "If 15,000 people were killed here, the world should know about this," Regula said in a telephone interview from the area, about 180 miles south of Warsaw. "Everyone knows about Auschwitz because it was left there, but Pustkow was taken apart and no one knows about it." Current ideas include a museum or reconstructing some of the camp's barracks, Regula said. Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland, said the idea to commemorate the camp with a monument or a museum is "extremely important and praiseworthy" but that rebuilding part of the camp could be "somewhat troubling." The Nazis established Pustkow in 1941 and inmates were used as forced laborers on the nearby military installation. Most of the inmates were Russian POWs, but some 3,000 Jews also died in the camp, Regula said. All that remains of the camp is a hill over most of the ruins known as the "mountain of death," part of the camp's gate, and fragments of access roads through the woods, he said.