Concentration Camp Museum Slammed For Being 'Like Disneyland'
A concentration camp museum set to open next month in Russia has been slammed for turning wartime suffering into 'some kind of Disneyland'.
The Museum of Sorrow, in the Karelia region, is based on an actual Second World War camp where thousands perished, including children.
Almost 4,300 people died in the camps, which were hit with famine and disease throughout the war, according to official records - but some think the death toll could be much higher.
Organisers of the new museum say it will be used to boost the 'military-patriotic' education of Russian children.
The museum, which received a £30,000 ($40,000) grant from the Kremlin, aims to recreate a concentration camp run by Finns who, as allies of the Nazis, controlled that part of north western Russia during the war.
Life-size buildings, including watchtowers, are being constructed as part of the project.
Head of the foundation behind the development, Natalya Abramova, said it would give the children of today a better understanding of the wartime generation and all they suffered through.
She said: "Children will engage in various military-patriotic games, and lessons of courage will be held."
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Abramova did not elaborate on what sort of games kids might be invited to play, but the project is being unveiled at a time when there's been a rise in recruitment of children to military-linked activities including Yunarmia - nicknamed the Putin Youth - which now has 730,000 recruits.
The controversial park has been slammed by a museum boss who compared it 'Disneyland'.
Roman Romanov, who heads the state Gulag museum, said the plans leave a 'bitter' feeling.
"We need understanding, a thoughtful approach, not the creation of some kind of Disneyland," he said.
"Arranging some kind of patriotic tactical games there... everyone who works with children understands what this will lead to.
"To call it a museum is unprofessional."
But Abramova hit back: "This historical reconstruction is a symbol of fortitude and faith, not horror, grief and pain, as some are now trying to present the project."
Even before work started, disputes had arisen over where the camp should be built, before it was eventually decided it would go ahead in the Vatnavolk village.
Featured Image Credit: East2West News
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