Poland could use German-built concentration camps to house German-imposed migrants, jokes Polish satirist

In this Jan. 17, 2005, file photo, a visitor walks by the wooden barracks in the former Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi death camp in Oswiecim, southern Poland. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski, File)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Jan Pietrzak, a senior Polish satirist known for his conservative views, has ignited a scandal with his remarks on migrants, suggesting that Auschwitz and other former concentration camps could be used to house them.

In a controversial statement on conservative broadcaster Republika TV, Jan Pietrzak responded to a question about Poland’s acceptance of illegal migrants by jokingly proposing that Poland could offer barracks in former German concentration camps.

“I have a cruel joke about these immigrants, that they count on the fact that Poles are prepared because we have barracks. We have barracks for immigrants: in Auschwitz, Majdanek, Treblinka, Stutthof. We have many barracks built here by the Germans,” Pietrzak stated.

He further explained: “There we will push these immigrants, illegally imposed on us by Germans, because it’s not the people fleeing to a better world who are illegal. It’s the authorities allowing them in, namely the Germans, who are illegal.”

Pietrzak criticized the German approach to welcoming migrants as illegal and treaty-violating, urging caution in the coming year against German overreach.

Justice Minister and Prosecutor General Adam Bodnar has requested the National Prosecutor’s Office to investigate Pietrzak’s statements. Prior to this, the Center for Monitoring Racist and Xenophobic Behavior had filed a criminal complaint against Pietrzak and Republika TV.

Speaking with left-liberal news outlet gazeta.pl, Pietrzak insisted his remarks were aimed solely at criticizing German policy. He claimed that he was reacting to plans he had read about, where Germany allegedly intended to send migrants to former camps due to storage issues. Pietrzak defended his statement as a response to what he perceives as criminal actions by Germany and as a reminder of Germany’s historical atrocities in Poland.

The Polish Presidential Palace also responded to Pietrzak’s words. Marcin Mastalerek, Chief of Staff to President Andrzej Duda, expressed the president’s disapproval and outrage in an interview with Republika TV, condemning the remarks as deeply stupid and not to be tolerated. Mastalerek emphasized the inappropriateness of making light of certain topics and issues in Poland.

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