DEPRESSING

Poland’s Auschwitz-Birkenau Holocaust Museum Suffers Wave of Anti-Semitic Attacks

Officials at Poland’s Auschwitz-Birkenau museum say they have suffered anti-Semitic attacks by Polish nationalists after the passing of a controversial Holocaust speech law last year, The Guardian reports. The law, which bans any suggestion of Polish complicity in Nazi atrocities, has reportedly sparked a tide of “hate, fake news, and manipulations” against the museum, with nationalists accusing the staff of minimizing the suffering of 74,000 Polish prisoners by focusing on Jewish victims. The home of one Italian guide was reportedly vandalized with the Star of David equated to a Nazi swastika, while another museum guide was badgered on camera by a politician convicted of anti-Semitism and his supporters. Staff say they have also become the target of an online smear campaign, with the museum director, Piotr Cywiński, facing “dozens of articles on dodgy websites, hundreds of Twitter accounts, thousands of similar tweets, profanities, memes, threats, slanders, denunciations.” Paweł Sawicki, who is in charge of the museum’s social-media operations, told The Guardian: “The collateral damage of the dispute is that Auschwitz became a target.”