Anti-vaxxers use 'shameful' Auschwitz-style sign echoing Nazi original

Anti-vaxxers use 'shameful' Auschwitz-style sign echoing Nazi original

December 15, 2021

Polish anti-vaxxers spark outrage with ‘shameful’ Auschwitz-style banner saying ‘vaccination makes you free’ mimicking infamous sign at camp gate

  • There was an Auschwitz-style banner at a Covid vaccine protest in Poland today
  • Poland’s PM and the Auschwitz Museum said it was ‘shameful’ and ‘mindless’
  • The banner said ‘Vaccination makes you free’, echoing the Nazi’s original one
  • The sign outside the Auschwitz concentration camp said ‘Work makes you free’

An Auschwitz-style banner at a Polish Covid vaccine protest run by far-right politicians was condemned today as ‘shameful’ and ‘mindless’ by Poland’s prime minister and the Auschwitz Museum. 

The banner featured the words ‘Vaccination makes you free’ on an arch shaped to echo the one that reads ‘Work makes you free’ outside the Nazi concentration camp.

It appeared at a demonstration in Warsaw on Tuesday organised by deputies of the far-right Confederation party against what it says is Poland’s programme of forced vaccinations.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau complex of camps were set up on Polish soil by Nazi Germany during World War Two. 

Politicians stood beneath a sign (pictured) that said ‘Vaccination makes you free’, echoing the style and wording of the entrance sign to Auschwitz

More than 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, died there in Birkenau’s gas chambers or from starvation, cold and disease.

The Auschwitz Museum, which was established to preserve the camp, said on Twitter: ‘The appropriation of the symbol of the suffering of the victims Auschwitz… is a scandalous manifestation of moral corruption.

‘It is particularly shameful when Polish lawmakers do it.’

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a Facebook post the banner painted ‘a dramatic and dark picture of how low some politicians and protesters can fall in mindless, anti-vaccine rhetoric.’

The sign reads ‘Work makes you free’ outside the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz

Poland has tightened its Covid curbs in the face of persistently high daily cases and deaths.

It has lowered the number of unvaccinated people who can be in public spaces like restaurants as well as announcing plans for compulsory vaccination of doctors, teachers and security service personnel.

Confederation lawmaker Robert Winnicki said on Twitter that the banner had appeared before the start of the demonstration and that the people carrying it had been asked to take it away, but that it was an expression of ‘social indignation’.

Poland’s daily death toll from COVID-19 during the fourth wave of the pandemic climbed to a record 669 on Wednesday.


Auschwitz was a concentration and extermination camp used by the Nazis during World War Two.

The camp, which was located in Nazi-occupied Poland, was made up of three main sites. 

Auschwitz I, the original concentration camp, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, a combined concentration and extermination camp and Auschwitz III–Monowitz, a labour camp, with a further 45 satellite sites.

Auschwitz was an extermination camp used by the Nazis in Poland to murder more than 1.1 million Jews

Birkenau became a major part of the Nazis’ ‘Final Solution’, where they sought to rid Europe of Jews.  

An estimated 1.3 million people were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, of whom at least 1.1 million died – around 90 percent of which were Jews. 

Since 1947, it has operated as Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, which in 1979 was named a World Heritage Site by Unesco. 

Since 1947, it has operated as Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, which in 1979 was named a World Heritage Site by Unesco

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