Re “Auschwitz Tailors Its Story for New Generation,” by Michael Kimmelman (New York Times, Feb. 19):

As the son of Auschwitz survivors, I was appalled at what I consider a universalization and dejudaization of the Auschwitz death camp in this article. It minimizes the Jewish essence of the devastation perpetrated at Auschwitz-Birkenau.Mr. Kimmelman early on implies that the significance of Auschwitz is the same “for Jews and non-Jews alike,” then, deep into the long article, acknowledges that “hundreds of thousands of Jews” were murdered there, and, finally, engages in a superficial discussion of the “symbolic ‘ownership’ of Auschwitz.”The overwhelming majority of the men, women and children murdered at Auschwitz were Jews. According to statistics from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, “at least 960,000” of a total of between 1,080,000 and 1,085,000 of those murdered at Auschwitz — about 89 percent — were Jews. Moreover, the large subcamp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where the four main gas chambers and crematories were located, was built for the principal purpose of carrying out Hitler’s “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.”For most of the four decades after World War II, the Communist regime of Poland did its utmost to suppress the Jewish identity of the victims of the Holocaust, including the victims of Auschwitz. Those of us involved in promoting Holocaust remembrance thought that we had evolved since then. Apparently we were wrong.My grandparents, my 5 1/2-year-old brother — my mother’s son — and most of the members of my immediate family were murdered in the Auschwitz gas chambers only and exclusively because they were Jews. So were close to one million other Jews, if not more.Efforts to better explain the death camp to younger visitors must not be allowed to come at the expense of recognizing the Jewish centrality of what is the largest Jewish cemetery not just in Poland but in the world.

Menachem Z. Rosensaft
The writer, a lawyer and law professor, is vice president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants.