Anti-Semitic graffiti has been discovered on barracks on the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau II Nazi death camp, the Memorial and Museum running the site said on Tuesday, condemning the act as “outrageous.”
The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial preserves the Auschwitz death camp set up on Polish soil by Nazi Germany during World War Two. More than 1.1 million people, most of them Jews, perished in gas chambers at the camp or from starvation, cold and disease.
The spray-painted graffiti on nine windowless wooden barracks that each housed hundreds of prisoner included statements in English and German, as well as two references to often-used Old Testament sayings frequently used by anti-Semites, the Memorial said in a statement published on Twitter.
“An offense against the Memorial Site – is above all, an outrageous attack on the symbol of one of the greatest tragedies in human history and an extremely painful blow to the memory of all the victims of the German Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau camp,” the memorial site tweeted.
Antisemitism has been prolific during the pandemic. Anti-vaccine and mask protesters have worn yellow Stars of David, which they say represent victimization from public health mandates. Several Holocaust museums and memorials in the U.S. have been defaced over the last two years in St. Petersburg, Fla.; Charleston, S.C.; Tulsa; Portland, Ore.; and Albuquerque.
A report published by the European Commission on the rise of antisemitism during the pandemic in France and Germany found a surge of online activity. Hateful content on Facebook, Twitter and Telegram increased sevenfold in the French language and 13-fold in German, the report said. There were 585 incidents in Austria in 2020 — an increase of 6.4 per cent — which made for a record high.
In August, Poland’s government passed a law that would cut off restitution for Holocaust survivors and their descendants, which allowed them to reclaim property that was seized under Nazi and communist rule. Israel’s foreign minister, Yair Lapid, said the move “borders on Holocaust denial.”
Source: Calgary Herald