An unnamed 29-year-old woman has been fined for giving a Hitler salute at a former Nazi death camp. According to reports, she was a tourist visiting Poland and made the controversial gesture while facing the entrance of Arbeit Macht Frei (work sets you free). It was a site where supposed enemies of Nazis were used as slave labour and killed in gas chambers.
Why the Tourist Gave Hitler Salute at Controversial Site?
The authorities reportedly charged the woman with promoting Nazi propaganda. She claimed that her Hitler salute was just a “stupid joke” while posing for a photograph taken by her husband. The prosecutors issued a fine, which she agreed to pay.
Meanwhile, the incident led many to wonder whether history did not teach anything to some people. Even the thought of being in front of such a horrifying place can shake anyone to the core.
What Happened at Auschwitz Death Camp?
German Nazi state built this structure in 1940 after taking over Poland during World War II. Initially, this facility served as a detention centre for political prisoners. However, it evolved into a death camp where Nazis systematically killed more than 1.1 million people. Nazis starved, worked, and tortured their prisoners to death. Most of the prisoners were Jews, murdered in the massive complex of gas chambers. Prisoners also underwent cruel experiments at the hands of Josef Mengele, known as the Angel of Death, for his inhumane experiments.
The site was also a significant player in the Nazi campaign of eradicating the Jewish population in Europe, known as the Holocaust. According to archives, around 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust by the orders of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, who originated the Hitler salute. Almost 1million Jews were brutally murdered in the Auschwitz death camp during the Holocaust.
The Soviet Union liberated the camp in 1945, the year when Hitler committed suicide due to fear of his downfall.
Tourists Engaging in Nazi Propaganda
Foreign tourists in Poland have been often caught imitating Hitler or Nazi gestures. Many have been detained for promoting Nazi propaganda, which is a charge in Poland punishable by up to 2 years in prison.
Reportedly, 2 Turkish students were sentenced to six months in jail in 2013 for making the same Hitler salute at the Auschwitz death camp. They were suspended from their educational institution for three years and received fines.