Auschwitz slams 'tasteless' ice cream stand set up outside 'Death Gate'

The controversial stall which first appeared last month has caused a significant amount of upset


The charity responsible for running Auschwitz has slammed an ice cream stand placed just minutes from the infamous "Death Gate"

The stand first appeared around 200 meters from the camp’s famous red-brick “Death Gate” last month. 

It had the words "ice love" on it as well as signs advertising “ice cream” and “waffles” in Polish. 

But the stall has come under fire from Auschwitz Museum chiefs who branded it "tasteless".

Bartosz Bartyzel from the museum told Polish newspaper Gazeta Krakowska: "This is an example of not only aesthetic tastelessness, but also a lack of respect for a special historical place located nearby".

Mr Bartyzel also stressed that they were unable to have the stall removed as the plot it was located on was privately owned land. 

He added: "We trust that the competent local government authorities will solve this embarrassing problem.”

Dagmar Kopijasz, of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Site Foundation, said nearby residents were also "upset" by the stall’s presence. 

Speaking to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, he added: “It’s obvious that the local residents are appalled by this ice cream stand and upset by the whole situation.

“Everyone says in one voice that this is no place to sell ice cream.”

Images of the ice cream stall started circulating on social media last week generating a huge backlash from thousands of people. 

Posting an image of the van on Twitter, Ian Bremmer said: “Maybe Auschwitz isn't the best spot for an ice cream stand.”

Local authorities in the nearby Polish town of Oświęcim have launched an investigation into the stall.

The stall row comes just weeks after an incident of inappropriate behaviour at the historical site.

One female tourist came under fire after posing like a model outside the museum.

In a photo that appeared on Twitter, the woman is seen posing and smiling in the sunshine.

However, the Auschwitz Museum said of the photo: "Pictures can hold immense emotional & documentation value for visitors. Images help us remember.”

The extermination camp has been preserved in Brzezinka near Oświęcim, which was known under German occupation as Auschwitz. 

Freight trains packed full of thousands of Jews from communities across Nazi-occupied Europe were transported to Auschwitz to be killed.

Around least 1.1 million people died there between 1940 and 1945, including about one million Jews. 

Today, the death camp is a tourist attraction with more than two million visitors a year flocking to the museum.

The Auschwitz Museum’s bylaws require visitors to “behave with due solemnity and respect”.

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