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Soundgarden Playing Auschwitz Festival

Soundgarden Live in Seattle
Jim Dyson, Getty Images

Soundgarden is the first international act announced to perform at the 2014 edition of the Life Festival in the Polish town of Oswiecim, according to Gigwise. While the event will mark the group’s first-ever show in Poland, it is also notable for the fact that Oswiecim was formerly known as Auschwitz — site of perhaps the most infamous and largest of Nazi Germany’s concentration camps. The camp itself, liberated by the Allies during the closing months of World War II, is now the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.

The festival was launched in 2010 by journalist and Oswiecim native Darek Maciborek. A statement posted at the festival website said, “Darek Maciborek intends to ‘break the spell’ of his home town that is commonly associated solely with the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. The main concept of the Festival is to build peaceful relations beyond cultural and state borders where there is no place for anti-Semitism, racism, and other forms of xenophobia.”

The Life Festival is scheduled to take place from Wednesday, June 25th to Saturday, June 28th, with Soundgarden appearing on Friday, June 27th.

Soundgarden has just six other dates on its calendar so far in 2014, including three South American Lollapalooza stops in the spring and a trio of German shows in June as openers for Black Sabbath.

Drummer Matt Cameron will be sitting out the band’s 2014 shows due to previous commitments with Pearl Jam and a desire to spend more time with his family.
A remastered version of Soundgarden’s first two EPs, along with additional early tracks, arrives on November 26th.

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