Auschwitz Museum condemns Polish party video using images of camp

  • World
  • Wednesday, 31 May 2023

FILE PHOTO: A Holocaust survivor takes part in the 78th anniversary of liberation of Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in Oswiecim, Poland January 27, 2023. Jakub Porzycki/Agencja via REUTERS

WARSAW (Reuters) - A video from Poland's ruling nationalists Law and Justice (PiS) that uses images of the Auschwitz Nazi German death camp is an insult to those who lost their lives there, the museum that preserves the site said on Wednesday.

The short video, which PiS posted on social media, aims to discourage people from attending an opposition march that is due to take place in Warsaw on Sunday.

It refers to a tweet from prominent government critic and former Polish Newsweek editor Tomasz Lis, who said that 'a chamber' would be found for PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski and PiS ally President Andrzej Duda.

Against a background which features the notorious 'Arbeit macht frei' (work sets you free) gate and an image of Lis's tweet, the video asks: "Do you really want to march under this slogan?".

Lis has since apologised for the tweet but said his words were misinterpreted and he meant to write 'a cell'.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial, which preserves the Auschwitz death camp set up on Polish soil by Nazi Germany during World War Two, condemned the advertisement.

"The instrumentalisation of the tragedy of people who suffered and died in the German Nazi Auschwitz camp - on either side of the political dispute - is an insult to the memory of the victims," the museum said on Twitter.

"It is a sad, painful and unacceptable manifestation of the moral and intellectual corruption of the public debate."

A government spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

More than 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, perished at the Auschwitz camp in gas chambers or from starvation, cold and disease.

Set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland in 1940, at first to house Polish political prisoners, it became the largest of the extermination centres where Adolf Hitler's plan to kill all Jews - the "Final Solution" - was put into practice.

The camp was liberated by the Soviet Red Army on Jan. 27, 1945.

Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews across German-occupied Europe.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

Congo ruling coalition backs Tshisekedi for December vote
EU's Borrell, in Kyiv, says bloc is preparing long-term security pledges
Ukrainian helicopter pilots fly low, run risks
Slovakia's Fico: border checks with Hungary a priority for new government
Senegal navy intercepts migrant boats as more risk perilous journey
Mourners hail dead Russian mercenary Prigozhin as hero of the people
Iraq wedding fire caused by 'gross negligence', government investigation says
UN mission arrives in Nagorno-Karabakh as ethnic Armenian exodus continues
Pope says Nagorno-Karabakh experiencing a humanitarian crisis
Russia intercepts five HIMARS, JDAM bomb, 37 drones over Ukraine in last 24 hours

Others Also Read