Israeli Army to Punish Officer Who Held Up Sign in Polish Reading 'You Too Played a Part' at Auschwitz

Members of the Witnesses in Uniform project took the sign away from the soldier and told Polish security guards that they would handle the incident

Israelis visit the former German Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau
AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

An Israeli officer on an army trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau will be disciplined for holding up a sign in Polish saying “You too played a part.”

The reserve officer, who was in Poland with the army’s Witnesses in Uniform project, was protesting a new Polish law, not yet enacted, that would make it a crime to mention involvement by “the Polish people/nation/state” in Nazi crimes.

The delegation went to Poland as part of a course for company and battalion commanders, and the participants were soldiers in the reserves and the standing army. The members of the Witnesses in Uniform project who were present took the sign away and told the Polish security guards that they would handle the incident. The soldier’s commanders didn’t order his immediate return to Israel, and he returned together with the rest of the delegation.

The IDF spokesman’s office commented: “During the delegation’s visit, the members of the company commanders’ course took a group picture. One of the members, who is doing reserve duty, wrote a message on his own in Polish, on an improvised piece of paper, which said ‘You played a part too.’”

The IDF Spokesman added, “The security at the Auschwitz camp noticed the sign and reported in to the museum’s management. The head of the delegation got the report, the course participant was located and confessed. The commander of the course spoke with the participant and made the seriousness of his action clear. The participant will be disciplined in the coming days.

“It must be noted that this was an exception incident that goes against the values of the army and the essence of the Witnesses in Uniform missions. The incident will be handled on the command level.”