claims for the WWII reparations – controversial poster

The public debate in Poland has recently focused on the country’s claims for the WWII reparations from Germany. One of the materials promoting the case was a poster highlighted on Twitter of TV Republika. The poster’s graphic design is based on the sign: „Arbeit macht frei” located over the gate to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Former German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp. The words were changed into „Reparationen machen frei”.

We have to remember that Auschwitz and its symbols convey the message and memory inseparably related to the place. The place is marked with the suffering and death of over a million murdered people. Regardless of the intentions of those using the Holocaust, its symbols shall be under protection. We shall also remember that inappropriate use of them offends those who survived Auschwitz. It is our responsibility, the obligation of the post-WWII generations, to remember and show respect to others, to learn from the message the genocide conveys.


Anna Chipczyńska


Jewish Community of Warsaw