Content note: this is extremely weird and pretty upsetting.
People do some crazy things in the name of their causes – like boarding Japanese whaling ships, going on hunger strikes in detention centres and throwing themselves under the King’s horse.
And, apparently, killing a lamb in the nude at the site of one of history’s most horrifying genocides: the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
On Friday, seven men and four women, all aged between 20 and 27, protested at the “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work makes you free“) gate to the Auschwitz death camp, where they killed a lamb and hung a banner reading “love” on the gate itself. They then stripped naked and chained themselves together.
All 11, who were from Poland, Belarus and Germany, were arrested and charged with desecrating a monument.
They told arresting police that the bizarre series of acts was supposed to be “a performance, a demonstration, for world peace.”
Why anyone would think that getting naked at the gate to Auschwitz is the right way to go about demonstrating for world peace is absolutely beyond me, but this is the world in 2017, apparently.
Poland’s chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich has expressed his shock at the protest. He told AFP:
“Any use of Auschwitz for political statements, even using Auschwitz for moral statements, is not how Auschwitz should be remembered.“The Germans used Auschwitz to try to eliminate the Jewish people. Any happenings are a desecration of the memory of all those killed at Auschwitz, Jews, Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, Roma and others.”
More than a million people died at Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945.
Image: Wotjek Laski / Getty.