NewsPolish-British community demands answers after Facebook removes Auschwitz post

Polish-British community demands answers after Facebook removes Auschwitz post

Illustrative photo
Illustrative photo
Images source: © Getty Images, SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty | SOPA Images

27 June 2024 16:51

Just a few minutes after publication, the British Poles post on Facebook was removed. The post indicated that the Germans established the camp. The Polish-British community portal is awaiting an explanation.

On 20 June, British Poles, a website for the Polish community in the United Kingdom, published an article recounting the escape of four Poles from the KL Auschwitz camp. The article was subsequently shared on the portal's Facebook page with a note:

"The Germans established the Auschwitz camp in 1940 to imprison Poles. Auschwitz II-Birkenau, the site of the genocide of Jews, was built two years later. Read about one of the most daring escapes in the history of this camp, where on 20 June 1942, prisoners escaped in… SS uniforms!" This post was swiftly removed by the Facebook administration just a few minutes later.

British Poles received information that their posts "go against the standards of the social media platform and mislead readers," which caused outrage, including from well-known British historian Roger Moorhouse, who specializes in the history of Poland, the Third Reich, and World War II. He described Facebook's decision as "ridiculous."

City of London Councillor Mark Wheatley directed questions to Facebook for clarification.

British Poles are awaiting further explanations of the decision.

It is worth recalling that a few years ago 2017, the daily "The Guardian" obtained and published documents with guidelines for Facebook employees detailing which posts to remove or hide. This issue caused significant controversy.

In March this year, a landmark ruling was made in Poland. The District Court in Warsaw ruled that Facebook cannot arbitrarily remove content on its platform. The case was brought against Meta by a Polish non-profit organization, which the court sided with. According to some experts, this may open the door to further lawsuits.

"We are thrilled with the verdict," said Jakub Nowak, board member and spokesperson for the Social Drug Policy Initiative, to "Gazeta Wyborcza". "The verdict against Facebook shows that there can still be space on the Internet for the free exchange of educational content and freedom of speech."

KL Auschwitz

Konzentrationslager Auschwitz, specifically KL Auschwitz I (Stammlager), KL Birkenau (Auschwitz II), and KL Monowitz (Auschwitz III) were German Nazi concentration and extermination camps that operated between 1940-1945. Over 1,300,000 people were brutally murdered in them.

The Auschwitz camp is the only German concentration camp that was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List (1979) under the name Auschwitz-Birkenau: German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940–1945).

On 20 June, British Poles, in the aforementioned article, described the 1942 escape. On that day, Kazimierz Piechowski and three other prisoners of the German camp - Eugeniusz Bendera, Stanisław Jasterna, and Józef Lempart, escaped dressed in SS uniforms from KL Auschwitz.

The escape took place with the knowledge of Witold Pilecki, who voluntarily entered Auschwitz to create a resistance movement within it. The escapees took with them the famous "Witold's Report" to hand over to the Home Army and inform the world about the tragedy of the people being murdered in the camps.

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