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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Auschwitz. Dutch woman punished for “hajling” at the gate to the former Auschwitz-Birkenau camp

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A 29-year-old citizen of the Netherlands “hailed” on Sunday at the gate of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. Later that same day, the prosecutor imposed a fine on the woman, which she accepted. The tourist explained that it was a stupid joke.

As Bartosz Izdebski from the Małopolska Police Press Office informed, on Sunday the Auschwitz Museum guards detained a 29-year-old Dutch citizen during “hailing” at the gate of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. The woman was supposed to pose with a gesture reminiscent of the fascist salute. The photo was taken by her 30-year-old husband. Before 1 p.m. the policemen were informed about the case. The spouses were taken to the Oświęcim headquarters. The 30-year-old was questioned as a witness.

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The tourist pleaded guilty and accepted the penalty

The District Prosecutor’s Office in Oświęcim was immediately notified about the case, which in the late afternoon – on the basis of the collected evidence – imposed a fine on the woman. The tourist pleaded guilty and accepted the penalty. – She explained that it was a stupid joke – said Izdebski.

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Public promotion of fascism is punishable by up to two years imprisonment.

This is not the first time that someone “hailed” at the gate of the former extermination camp. Among the high-profile cases is the one from 2013, when a Nazi salute was captured in a photo by two students from Turkey at the “Arbeit macht frei” gate. The court later sentenced them to six months in prison, suspended for three years and a fine.

The gate of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination campShutterstock

Former Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp

The main gate, also known as the Gate of Death, is one of the symbols of the entire camp and the Holocaust that took place there. The Germans completed the construction in mid-1942. The central part is a tower with a gate. After the construction of the railway ramp inside the Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp in the spring of 1944, transports with deportees to Auschwitz, mainly Jews, but also Poles, passed through it.

The Germans established the Auschwitz camp in 1940 to imprison Poles there. Auschwitz II-Birkenau was established two years later. It became the site of the extermination of Jews. There was also a network of sub-camps in the camp complex. In Auschwitz, the Germans killed at least 1.1 million people, mostly Jews. They also deported about 150,000 Poles to the camp, almost half of whom did not survive. Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and people of other nationalities also died in Auschwitz.

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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