October 06, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC -- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is outraged by the recent desecration of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp site with antisemitic graffiti and stands in solidarity with our many friends and partners at the Auschwitz State Museum and throughout Poland. We call on Polish authorities to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation and hold the perpetrators publicly accountable.
“Desecrating Auschwitz is an assault on the significance of the Holocaust and the memory of the one million Jews who were murdered there,” said Museum director Sara J. Bloomfield. “Auschwitz-Birkenau is recognized all over the world as both a historic site and a symbol of humanity’s capacity for moral depravity. This act was an attack on Holocaust memory, on Holocaust victims and survivors, and on the Jewish community in particular, as well as on other victim groups whose members were murdered at Auschwitz. But it was also an attack on those who care about the future of humanity and the urgent need to confront Holocaust denial, antisemitism and other forms of hatred.
“The attack is alarming, but sadly, we should not be quite so surprised,” continued Bloomfield. “The fact that the graffiti was written in English and German reveals that it was intended as a message to Europe, the US and beyond. It’s a message we should all heed.”
Holocaust denial and distortion and other forms of antisemitism have been rising throughout Europe and the US for several years. A recent Museum report details how some political and societal leaders in both Eastern and Western Europe minimize or distort the Holocaust in order to advance political agendas. In the US, Holocaust analogies are growing despite the fact that they have been widely condemned. And conspiracy theories about Jews — whether in connection with religious teachings, the veracity of the Holocaust, or the Covid pandemic — continue to proliferate. The Museum will continue to work with our partners in Poland, Germany, throughout Europe and in the US who share our commitment to safeguard the truth of the Holocaust and ensure its lessons are transmitted to future generations.
A federally chartered, nonpartisan educational institution, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum serves as America’s national memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. The Museum is dedicated to ensuring the permanence of Holocaust memory, understanding, and relevance and inspires leaders and individuals worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. For more information, visit ushmm.org.
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