Auschwitz-style Banner at Polish Anti-vaccine Protest Condemned

The banner featured the words 'Vaccination makes you free' on an arch shaped to echo the infamous sign outside the former Nazi death camp

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
A writing reading is 'Work Sets You Free' seen on the gate of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in Oswiecim, Poland.
A writing reading is 'Work Sets You Free' seen on the gate of the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in Oswiecim, Poland. Credit: Markus Schreiber,AP
Reuters
Reuters

The Auschwitz Museum and Poland's prime minister on Wednesday condemned anti-vaccination protesters as "shameful" and "mindless" for displaying a banner that mimicked the infamous sign at the gates of the Nazi concentration camp.

Members of Poland's far-right Confederation party with the "Vaccination Makes You Free" banner.

The banner featured the words "Vaccination makes you free" on an arch shaped to echo the one that reads "Work makes you free" outside Auschwitz.

It appeared at a demonstration in Warsaw on Tuesday organized by deputies of the far-right Confederation party against what it says is Poland's program of forced vaccinations.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau complex of camps were set up on Polish soil by Nazi Germany during World War Two. More than 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, died there, of starvation, cold and disease or in Birkenau's gas chambers.

"The appropriation of the symbol of the suffering of the victims of Auschwitz... is a scandalous manifestation of moral corruption," the museum, which was established to preserve the camp, said on Twitter. "It is particularly shameful when Polish lawmakers do it."

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a Facebook post that the banner painted "a dramatic and dark picture of how low some politicians and protesters can fall in mindless, anti-vaccine rhetoric."

Poland has tightened its COVID-19 curbs in the face of persistently high daily cases and deaths, lowering the number of unvaccinated people who can be in public spaces like restaurants as well as announcing plans for compulsory vaccination of doctors, teachers and security service personnel.

Confederation lawmaker Robert Winnicki said on Twitter that the banner had appeared before the start of the demonstration and that the people carrying it had been asked to take it away, but that it was an expression of "social indignation".

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments