Netflix to change Nazi guard documentary after Polish complaint

FAN Editor
FILE PHOTO: Convicted Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk leaves a courtroom after his the verdict in Munich
FILE PHOTO: Convicted Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk leaves a courtroom after his the verdict in Munich on May 12, 2011. REUTERS/Michael Dalder/File Photo

November 14, 2019

WARSAW (Reuters) – Netflix said on Thursday it would make changes to maps in a documentary that showed German Nazi death camps inside the borders of modern Poland, after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki pressed the streaming and production company to act.

The maps in the documentary series “The Devil Next Door” were criticized by Morawiecki earlier this week for implying that Poland existed at that time as an independent nation within its postwar borders and thus could share responsibility for the atrocities committed at the camps during World War Two.

“To avoid any misunderstanding, in the coming days we will be adding text to some of the maps featured in the series,” Netflix said in a statement posted on Twitter.

“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 series chronicles the story of John Demjanjuk, a retired U.S. carworker convicted by a German court in 2011 of having been a Nazi death camp guard during the war.

Morawiecki had asked for action in a letter to Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix, dated Nov. 10 and published on the prime minister’s Facebook page on Monday.

Poland is very sensitive to suggestions that it might share any complicity in Nazi crimes committed on its territory.

The ruling party last year passed a law allowing courts to jail anybody who made such a suggestion, though it later watered down the legislation under U.S. pressure.

Poland was home to one of the world’s biggest Jewish communities before it was almost wiped out by the Nazis.

Many Poles still refuse to accept research showing that thousands of Poles participated in the Holocaust, in addition to the thousands who risked their lives to help the Jews.

(Reporting by Alan Charlish, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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