Israeli soldier to be prosecuted for Auschwitz protest

Jacek Bednarczyk

An Israeli soldier who took a poster saying ‘You also had a part’ to Auschwitz will be prosecuted, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) has announced.

The officer arrived in Auschwitz with a group of fellow officers as part of a “witnesses in uniform” delegation. During the visit to the former German extermination camp in Oswiecim, the officer held up a sign in Polish saying "You too had a part" in protest against the Polish law which forbids anyone of accusing the Polish nation of war crimes or crimes against Jews during World War II.

According to eyewitnesses, the officer was photographed by security personnel at the Auschwitz Museum who complained to the museum's management and to the heads of the IDF delegation. The officer was not detained, but the IDF Spokesperson stated that he would be tried for the act and that this was a step that did not conform to IDF values.

"One of the officers, who was in reserve service, wrote in Polish 'You also had a part'. Security at the Auschwitz camp saw the sign and reported it to the museum administration. The head of the delegation also received a report about it. The officer confessed. The officer will be disciplined in the coming days,” a statement by the IDF spokesman said.

He also emphasized that: “This is a serious incident that is contrary to the values of the army and the essence of the 'witnesses in uniform' delegations. The event will be handled on the command level. The IDF sees great importance in the study of the Holocaust and will continue to educate IDF soldiers and officers on Holocaust heritage through the delegations of “witnesses in uniform."