Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 12 December 2019

Netflix backtracks after 'rewriting' Holocaust in new series

Poland complained 'The Devil Next Door' rewrites history and does not explain camps were built and run by Nazis

Guard towers and barbed wire fences stand at the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland. Getty Images
Guard towers and barbed wire fences stand at the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Oswiecim, Poland. Getty Images

Netflix said it would add information to a Holocaust documentary on Nazi death camps, which Poland claimed rewrote history by featuring an "incorrect" map.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki this week called on the US streaming and production website to correct the "terrible mistake" he believed had been "committed unintentionally".

A map in The Devil Next Door documentary wrongly shows death camps built by Nazi Germany inside the borders of modern-day Poland, which were established after the Second World War.

Nazi Germany set up the camps inside territory it occupied after its September 1939 invasion and takeover of Poland.

"In order to provide more information to our members about the important issues raised in this documentary and to avoid any misunderstanding, we will be adding text to some of the maps featured in the series," Netflix said on its Polish Twitter site.

"This will make it clearer that the extermination and concentration camps in Poland were built and operated by the German Nazi regime who invaded the country and occupied it from 1939-1945."

The Auschwitz memorial museum tweeted that information in the Netflix documentary about the locations of Nazi death camps was "simply wrong".

"Not only is the map incorrect, but it deceives viewers into believing that Poland was responsible for establishing and maintaining the camps, and for committing crimes therein," Mr Morawiecki said in the letter to Netflix boss Reed Hastings, posted on his official Facebook page on Monday.

"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."

The documentary focuses on retired US car worker John Demjanjuk who was convicted in a landmark 2011 German court ruling for serving as a guard at the Nazi German Sobibor camp in occupied Poland.

Nearly six million Poles died in the conflict that killed more than 50 million people overall. The figure includes the six million Jews who died in the Holocaust, half of whom were Polish.

Updated: November 15, 2019 02:22 AM

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