Polish PM complains to Netflix over ‘rewriting history’ of Nazi camps

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Poland’s Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki. The country is highly sensitive about any suggestion of Polish complicity with Nazi crimes | Carsten Koall/Getty Images

Mateusz Morawiecki wrote that a documentary on the holocaust was ‘whitewashing actual perpetrators of these crimes.’

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote to the CEO of Netflix to complain that a documentary on the platform about Nazi concentration camps during World War II was “rewriting history” and “obfuscating historical fact.”

The letter to Netflix’s Reed Hastings, dated November 10 and posted on Morawiecki’s Facebook page, argues that a map shown in a documentary entitled “The Devil Next Door” implies Polish involvement in the holocaust because it locates Nazi death camps within the borders of modern day Poland.

“There is no comment or any explanation whatsoever that these sites were German-operated,” wrote Morawiecki. “Not only is the map incorrect, but it deceives viewers into believing that Poland was responsible for establishing and maintaining these camps, and for committing the crimes therein.”

“As my country did not even exist at that time as an independent state, and millions of Poles were murdered at these sites, this element of The Devil Next Door is nothing short of rewriting history,” he added, arguing that the treatment was “to an extent obfuscating historical facts and whitewashing actual perpetrators of these crimes.”

Warsaw is highly sensitive about any suggestion of Polish complicity with Nazi crimes. Last year the government passed a law making it a crime to say that Poland shared responsibility for the holocaust. The law was softened at the last minute after pressure from the U.S. and Israel to remove the threat of jail terms.

Morawiecki said he believed that the “terrible mistake” had been committed unintentionally, but added that he hoped the documentary would be amended “as soon as possible,” either by modifying the map or adding an explanation.

A Netflix spokesperson told Reuters: “We are aware of the concerns regarding “The Devil Next Door” and are urgently looking into the matter.”

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