Israeli teen fined for urinating on memorial at Auschwitz
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Israeli teen fined for urinating on memorial at Auschwitz

Museum says it cannot recall similar previous event; 19-year-old arrested, questioned by Polish police

The infamous German inscription that reads 'Work Makes Free' at the main gate of the Nazi Auschwitz I extermination camp in Oswiecim, Poland, on November 15, 2014. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images via JTA)
The infamous German inscription that reads 'Work Makes Free' at the main gate of the Nazi Auschwitz I extermination camp in Oswiecim, Poland, on November 15, 2014. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images via JTA)

A 19-year-old Israeli was detained at the Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum after he was caught urinating on a memorial commemorating the victims of the camp.

He was questioned for several hours and released on Wednesday after voluntarily accepting a fine as punishment, according to local reports. The fine reportedly was $1,500.

According to Polish law those who desecrate a monument or other public place commemorating a historical event or a person can be punished with a fine or imprisonment.

The young Israeli was detained on Wednesday at about 1 p.m. According to witnesses, he urinated on a monument located near the ruins of the crematoria in the former Birkenau camp. The action was noticed by the museum’s guide who notified museum guards, who in turn called the police.

Auschwitz Museum spokesman Bartosz Bartyzel said he did not recall a similar event involving an Israeli citizen.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that the teenager was released after being questioned for several hours, the Hebrew-language Ynet website reported.

The Auschwitz Museum also confirmed the incident, calling it “very regrettable,” the Israeli report added.

Last year, a group of anti-war activists slaughtered a sheep, stripped naked and chained themselves to the gate of the Auschwitz memorial. They were sentenced in January to prison terms and fines.

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