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Israel receives death camp blueprints

Aug. 27, 2009 at 7:36 AM
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BERLIN, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Blueprints of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp were presented to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a Berlin ceremony, Israeli officials said.

The 29-page layout of the Nazi death camp was handed over to Netanyahu by the editor of the German newspaper Bild at the Berlin headquarters of publisher Axel Springer AG, company officials said.

The documents will be stored at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust Martyrs and Heroes Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, for safekeeping and displayed in 2010 to mark the 65th anniversary of the camp's liberation, officials from the Israeli memorial institute said.

The building plans of the death camp are the only original documents of their kind found in Germany, the publishing company told the European Jewish Press Web site.

They were discovered in a Berlin home last year and purchased by Bild, which decided Yad Vashem was the most appropriate venue to display them, the Web site said.

The blueprints include details for the expansion of the camp, and the construction of an additional crematorium and gas chamber. They were drawn between 1941 and 1943, the site said.

Netanyahu is currently in Germany on a two day visit.

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