Auschwitz Barracks Returns to Poland From the U.S.

Half of historic structure was on loan to Holocaust Museum in Washington.

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The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Officials at the death camp museum say half a historic barracks that was on loan to the United States has been returned to Poland after two decades and long negotiations.

The barracks was at the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, which wanted the lease extended. But Polish regulations passed in 2003 allow only five-year loans and Poland asked for its return soon after. Following years of negotiations, the Holocaust Museum agreed in October to return it.

The museum said on its website that the wooden structure arrived at Poland's port of Gdynia on Sunday.

The barracks will undergo conservation and be joined with its other half. The structure served as hospital at Birkenau.

Between 1940 and 1945, the killed some 1.5 million people, mostly Jews, at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

An undated image of the main gate of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland. Writing over the gate reads: 'Arbeit macht frei' (Work Sets You Free).Credit: AP