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Dutch tourist held after making Nazi salute at Auschwitz

Woman released and fined, says Heil Hitler gesture made during photo beneath ‘Arbeit macht frei’ gate was a bad joke

Holocaust survivors walk below the gate with its inscription 'Work sets you free' after a wreath laying at the death wall at the memorial site of the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz during ceremonies to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the camp's liberation in Oswiecim, Poland, on January 27, 2020 (Janek Skarzynski/AFP)
Holocaust survivors walk below the gate with its inscription 'Work sets you free' after a wreath laying at the death wall at the memorial site of the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz during ceremonies to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the camp's liberation in Oswiecim, Poland, on January 27, 2020 (Janek Skarzynski/AFP)

WARSAW, Poland — Polish police said on Sunday they had detained a Dutch tourist for giving the Nazi salute at the site of the former death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

“Officers from (the southern city of) Oswiecim detained a 29-year-old woman from the Netherlands today,” regional police tweeted.

“The tourist had been performing the Hitler salute in front of the ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ (Work Sets You Free) gate,” they added.

“The detainee was charged with engaging in Nazi propaganda. She confessed.”

Prosecutors issued her with a fine as punishment, which she accepted, according to the Polish news agency PAP.

It added that she was caught in the act by guards while posing for a photo taken by her husband.

“She explained it away as a bad joke,” regional police press officer Bartosz Izdebski told PAP.

Nazi Germany built the death camp in Oswiecim after occupying Poland during World War II.

The Holocaust site has become a symbol of Nazi Germany’s genocide of 6 million European Jews, one million of whom died at the camp between 1940 and 1945 along with more than 100,000 non-Jews.

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