Tourist Arrested for Making Nazi Salute at Auschwitz ‘As a Joke’

The 29-year-old Dutch woman was detained by security while making the salute in front of the gate that bears the words “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work Sets You Free).
Woman Arrested for Making Nazi Salute at Auschwitz ‘For a Joke’
Visitors to the Nazi German concentration camp Auschwitz II-Birkenau earlier this month. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A 29-year-old woman from the Netherlands has been arrested for giving the Nazi salute at the site of the Auschwitz death camp.

The woman, who has not been named, made the gesture in front of the Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Sets You Free) gate as she posed for a photo taken by her husband on Sunday.

Security at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial in Poland saw her in the act, detained her, and contacted police.

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She was charged by prosecutors with engaging in Nazi propaganda and was issued with a fine, which she accepted. 

Poland’s PAP news agency reports that the woman said the act was a “bad joke”.

Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest of the German Nazi concentration camps in the Second World War. More than 1.1 million men, women and children died at the camp, including 960,000 Jews.

Promoting Nazi propaganda in Poland can carry a sentence of up to two years in prison. 

In 2013, two Turkish students were fined for making a Nazi salute at Auschwitz, and given a suspended sentence of six months in jail.