The event on Thursday afternoon at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Poland was extraordinary and unprecedented in the history of that place. Its existence had been kept under wraps and no official invitation was sent out. The organizers were uneasy about talking about it and forbade participants from talking to the media.
What was the secret and why did the organizers, headed by Keren Hayesod – United Israel Appeal, decide to keep the event quiet? It turns out that the monument – an authentic freight car that was used to transport Jews to the death camps – was supposed to commemorate the members of a private family, in return for a tidy sum. This type of commemoration is contrary to the clear policy of the memorial site, which is devoted to perpetuating the suffering and memory of all the camp’s inmates and not only those whose relatives who can afford a private memorial.