Eleven people took off their clothes, slaughtered a sheep, and chained themselves to the gate of the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz, in Poland, as a bizarre form of protest. They draped a banner with the word ‘Love’ over the infamous front gate of Auschwitz, covering up the the notorious motto Arbeit Macht Frei (“Work sets you free”) that had greeted inmates as they entered the camp.
The seven men and four women included six Poles, four Belarusians and one German, regional police spokesman Sebastian Glen said. They were arrested after they held their protest. They told police the act was intended to be “a performance, a demonstration, for world peace,” he added. Local media reported it was intended as a protest against the conflict in Ukraine. The group used a drone to record their actions.
Regional prosecutor Mariusz Slomka told media that the protesters were charged with “desecrating a monument.” The man who killed the lamb will face additional charges under animal protection laws that carry a penalty of up to two years behind bars.
An estimated 1.1 million people were killed in the Nazi camp, and around 90 percent were Jewish. The site is now a museum. The museum authorities released a statement in reaction to the protest, saying, “Using the symbol of Auschwitz for any kind of manifestations or happenings is outrageous and unacceptable. It is disrespectful to the memory of all the victims.”