Auschwitz hit by wave of vandalism

By Daniel Easterman, May 8, 2014

Young Polish people and tourists are vandalising the Auschwitz museum site by stealing large objects and scribbling their names on prisoner bunk beds, it has emerged.

In addition to widespread cases of tourists carving names and inane messages on the camp’s wooden bunks, there have even been reports of visitors stealing barbed wire and sections of the train track.

Speaking to the Telegraph, museum director Piotr Cywinski said: “It’s not always young people. Sometimes even teachers and foreign tourists take things.”

Antoni Dudek, a Polish historian, described the vandalism and theft as “shocking” and “barbaric”.

The size of the 500-acre camp makes it difficult to police.

In 2009, a Polish criminal group stole the camp’s infamous Arbeit Macht Frei (“Work Sets You Free”) sign. It was later recovered by museum authorities and reinstated at the entrance of the camp.

Last updated: 5:45pm, May 8 2014