- Auschwitz museum employees say they found anti-Semitic vandalism at the former concentration camp.
- In a statement tweeted on Tuesday, staff said it was an “extremely painful blow” to the victims.
- It added that nine barracks at the Polish memorial site were graffitied in an “outrageous attack.”
Staff at the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial and museum condemned anti-Semitic vandalism that took place at the former concentration camp in a statement released on Tuesday.
Nine wooden barracks located at the South Poland memorial site were said to have been graffitied with English and German anti-Semitic slogans in what staff described as an “outrageous attack.”
In the statement tweeted by the official Auschwitz Memorial account after the graffiti was discovered on Tuesday, representatives for the memorial site said the spray-painted inscriptions included references to the Old Testament in a way “often used by anti-Semites,” and “denial slogans.” It added the graffiti was located at Sector Blla of the Auschwitz II-Birkenau site.
—Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) October 5, 2021
Auschwitz-Birkenau, located near Oświęcim, Poland, was the largest Nazi extermination camp during World War II and was active between 1941 and 1945. In 1942, it was converted into a death camp for the remaining three years it was open.
“Such incident — an offense against the Memorial Site — is, above all, an outrageous attack on the symbol of one of the greatest tragedies in human history and an extremely painful blow to the memory of all the victims of the German Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau camp,” the official statement continued.
The statement also said that the incident has been reported to the police, who are analyzing CCTV footage and the graffiti itself, but they are urging members of the public who have any information or photographs that could identify the criminals to come forward.
It added that while the investigation was pending as police compiled the “necessary documentation,” the vandalism remained in place.
A representative for Auschwitz confirmed to Insider that since then, “conservators have already begun the work of removing the graffiti from the historical building.”
The security measures in place at the 170-hectare site are “constantly being expanded,” according to the statement, but these are financed by the museum’s budget, which has suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It added that it would not be possible to secure the site by fully enclosing it due to an ongoing government development program.
Representatives for the local police did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.