The vandalism was discovered on October 5 on the wooden barracks in Sector Blla of the Auschwitz II-Birkenau site — the largest subcamp of the complex.
In a statement on Tuesday the museum denounced the “outrageous attack on the symbol of one of the greatest tragedies in human history” further expressing that it was “an extremely painful blow to the memory of all the victims of the German Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.”
Defacing the Auschwitz II-Birkenau site doesn't erase the evil intention that created it – it highlights to the world that the same evil persists.
— Rina Callingham🕷️#WaspiWomen #NHSblueheart (@RMorganC) October 5, 2021
The spray-painted inscriptions were in both English and German, some anti-Semitic in nature.
The incident has been reported to the police, with the museum appealing for eyewitnesses to come forward to share information, especially anyone with photos or videos taken around the Gate of Death, the entrance to Birkenau, and around the wooden barracks.
“As soon as the police have compiled all the necessary documentation the conservators of the Auschwitz Memorial will begin removing traces of vandalism from the historical buildings,” the statement read.
“We hope that the person or persons who committed this outrageous act will be found and punished,” the museum added.
Eleven million men, women, and children perished during the systematic, Nazi state-sponsored persecution and murder of Jews, Slavic peoples, Roma, people with disabilities, Soviet prisoners, homosexuals, and others deemed “inferior.” Of those 11 million, more than six million Jews perished during the Holocaust.
Construction of Auschwitz II, or Auschwitz-Birkenau, began in October 1941, with Birkenau playing a central role in Germany’s Final Solution — the mass murder of Jews of Europe. Nearly 1 million Jews died at Auschwitz.
According to Deutsche Welle, the “number of registered anti-Semitic hate crimes in Germany hit a new upward trend in 2020, according to figures released by the German government.”
Over the span of 12 months to the end of January 2021, the authorities have logged at least 2,275 crimes with an anti-Semitic sentiment. Some 55 of those were acts of violence, the German newspaper reported.
The security system of the Auschwitz Memorial “is constantly being expanded,” according to the statement. However, security of the 170-hectare site is funded by the museum’s budget, which has been severely affected due to COVID-19.