WARSAW, Poland — The Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial museum has denounced a political spot by Poland’s ruling party that uses the theme of the Nazi German extermination camp to discourage participation in an upcoming anti-government march.
The state-run museum attacks “instrumentalization of the tragedy” of the 1.1 million people who were murdered at the site during World War II, arguing that it is an insult to their memory.
“It is a sad, painful and unacceptable manifestation of the moral and intellectual corruption of the public debate,” the state museum says.
The 14-second video published today by the Law and Justice party shows images of the former death camp, including the notorious “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate, and the words: “Do you really want to walk under this slogan?”
— Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (@pisorgpl) May 31, 2023
The reference is to a now-deleted tweet from journalist Tomasz Lis, who claimed that President Andrzej Duda and ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski deserve to go to prison. He published the tweet amid a heated debate over a law passed by the party lawmakers and signed by Duda that is viewed by the US, the European Union and many Polish critics as anti-democratic.
“There will be a chamber for Duda and Kaczor,” the tweet said, using a nickname for Kaczynski.
He used the Polish word ”komora,” which can be simply a dark cell or chamber but which many in Poland associate with the gas chambers used by Germans in mass murder during the war.
Lis has since deleted the tweet and apologized.