Poland: Officials hunting for 3 girls who performed a Nazi salute at Polish death camp
Polish officials are hunting three girls who caused outrage after throwing Nazi salutes outside Auschwitz and posting a photo of it on social media.
According to local media, the girls uploaded the image to Instagram but quickly decided to take it down.
However, officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum had already been alerted to the image and informed the public prosecutor’s office.
While giving a Nazi salute is not explicitly banned in Poland, the law does forbid hate speech based on religion and promoting fascist ideology, with prison sentences of up to three years for offenders.
The image came to light after it was reposted on Facebook group ‘Racist and Xenophobic Behaviour Monitoring Centre’.
The group wrote: “The girls’ ‘prank’ proves how education about the horrors of the Holocaust and totalitarian systems is needed, especially with anti-Semitism growing in Poland.”
They added that “young people unknowingly absorb hateful content”.
Local authorities are in the process of identifying the teenagers and their school will be informed about the incident.
The incident comes months after Poland rescinded a Holocaust denial law that angered the United States and Israel, and removed parts that imposed jail terms on people who mention Poland’s active role in Nazi atrocities and make the use of phrases such as “Polish Death Camps” to refer to the Polish death camps, punishable.
The nationalist, right-wing government said at the time the law was needed to protect Poland’s reputation. Israel and the United States said it amounted to a historical whitewash and Holocaust denial.