US/World News

Polish tourism chief fired for removing Auschwitz from press itineraries

(JTA) – The president of the national tourist organization in Poland was fired after noting in a newspaper interview that he had removed the Auschwitz memorial from the itinerary for foreign journalists’ visits. Marek Olszewski also suggested a similar move for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw in the Gazeta Wyborcza story published August 26. Polish Minister of Tourism Witold Bańka said he and was unaware that Olszewski had removed the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum until the story was published. He wrote on Twitter that he was firing the tourism chief immediately.

Olszewski told the newspaper: “As the head of the Polish Tourist Organization, who loves his country, I want to show its best side, through our monuments, culture, hospitality, wonderful music. Auschwitz is not a tourist product but a place of martyrology, reverie and reflection, and we are promoting Poland as an attractive tourist destination. … I do not need to expose places and events connected with the history of other nations.” He added later: “It was Poles, not the Jewish elites, that were completely plowed and liquidated during the war. Let us remember that the whole Jewish culture in practice has survived.”

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