October 6, 2022

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Auschwitz Museum targets Russian propaganda on social media |  News

Auschwitz Museum targets Russian propaganda on social media | News

Social media posts falsely claimed to show anti-Russian posters placed around the former Auschwitz death camp in Poland.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum claimed it was the target of “primitive” propaganda spread by Russian state agencies on social media.

The museum said Friday that social media posts falsely claimed to show anti-Russian posters placed around the former site of the Auschwitz death camp in southern Poland, an area under German occupation during World War Two.

The false photos were published by official Russian websites, including the Russian arms control delegation in Vienna, and retweeted by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The museum said in a statement that highlighting the false photos appears to be aimed at portraying the Russians as evil targets of russophobia.

Some publications claimed that the posters were the work of Ukrainians.

The museum said: “The use of the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial for propaganda that lends credence to alleged russophobia and strengthens theories about the need to de-Nazify Ukraine should be opposed by all intellectuals around the world.”

“Russia and the Russians,” posters that appear in fake photos say, “The only gas you and your country deserve is Zykon B,” referring to the gas the Germans used in the mass murder of Jews and others in camps during a war.

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Several online publications claimed that anti-Russian posters appeared on June 22, the anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. The army of the Soviet Union liberated Auschwitz in 1945.

The Auschwitz Museum said no such stickers were found in the locations depicted in the photos shared on social media, and that security cameras did not catch anyone affixing anything to the locations on or before June 22.

The museum said an analysis showed that the images had been manipulated and the posters added digitally.

“Everything indicates that the images are manipulations,” the museum said in a statement, describing the images as “primitive and gross propaganda.”

When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, President Vladimir Putin said the goal was to “discredit” Ukraine, whose democratically elected president is Jewish and who lost his family members in the Holocaust.

More than 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators at Auschwitz.