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Polish Police investigating antisemitic graffiti at Auschwitz Memorial

11.10.2021 6:58
The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

Police in Poland are looking for the perpetrator or perpetrators who spray-painted antisemitic graffiti in English and German on nine of the preserved barracks that used to house prisoners of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp run by the Nazis, and for damaging the memorial they face a punishment of between six months to eight years in prison. A security guard at the preserved site noticed the graffiti while making his rounds, news server Onet.pl reported. 

"Officers immediately headed to the spot. They inspected the crime scene and ascertained that the graffiti is most likely to have been created between eight and 12 o'clock today," police spokesperson Malgorzata Jurecková said on Tuesday, 5 October.   

Police have been analyzing clues and evidence, according to the spokesperson, and administrators of the museum that now is in operation at the site of the former concentration and extermination camp run by the Nazis have issued a statement condemning the act of vandalism as an "assault on the symbol of one of the greatest tragedies in the history of humanity and an unusually painful blow to the memory of all of the victims" of the camp. The museum management has also called on the public to aid police with apprehending the perpetrator or perpetrators. 

Visitors to the Auschwitz-Birkenau site who took photographs on the morning of Tuesday, 5 October near what is called the Gate of Death or by the buildings where men were quarantined could be of particular assistance if they could provide those images to the authorities. At Auschwitz, which the Germans annexed into the Nazi Reich after defeating Poland, the concentration camp was constructed in 1940 and was first used to imprison Polish nationals. 

Two years later the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp opened there and became the biggest extermination camp ever run by the Nazis. An estimated 1.1 million people were murdered there by the Nazis, most of whom were Jewish, but also Polish nationals, Romani people, Soviet prisoners of war and prisoners from other countries. 

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Antisemitismus, Auschwitz, Poland, Police



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