Dutch Tourist Arrested For Making Nazi Salute At Auschwitz While Posing For Photo


A Dutch tourist was arrested Sunday at the site of the Auschwitz death camp for making a Nazi salute while posing for a photo, police said.

The 29-year-old woman from the Netherlands made the gesture in front of the gate that says “Work Sets You Free” as her 30-year-old husband took a photo. Authorities did not release the woman’s name.

Police told the Polish News Agency the security on the site of the now memorial and museum saw the salute and contacted police. Police detained the woman, and her husband was taken in for questioning.

The woman pleaded guilty and was charged an undisclosed fine. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial confirmed the incident on Twitter.

“The Memorial Security detained a 29 y/o Dutch woman today while making the Nazi salute at the gate of the former Auschwitz I camp. Police were called,” the tweet said. “The woman accepted the fine imposed by the prosecutor. She explained her behavior as a ‘stupid joke.'”

Throughout Europe, making a Nazi salute, as well as supporting the fascist group vocally or in written form, is illegal and can result in prison time. In Poland, where Auschwitz is located, promoting Nazi propaganda can result in up to two years in prison.

In 2013, the Polish outlet reported two students from Turkey made the gesture at the same gate, which resulted in them being sentenced to six months in prison, along with a fine and suspension. On Jan. 13, police detained three men for vandalizing a wall of a Jewish cemetery with a Nazi symbol.

The gate where the woman took the photo was known as the “Gate of Death.” The camp, established in 1940, was the largest concentration camp of Nazi Germany during the Holocaust. At least 1.1 million men, women, and children died at the camp, most of whom were Jewish, by gas chambers and slave labor.