Netflix plans to revise a recently released documentary after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki implored Netflix CEO Reed Hasting to edit maps shown in the series.
The Devil Next Door focuses on the trial of John Demjanjuk, a Ukrainian-American mechanic who was accused of being the infamously atrocious Nazi concentration camp guard “Ivan the Terrible.” The series features maps that were shown in Israel and US coverage of Demjanjuk’s trial in the late 1980s.
On Sunday, Morawiecki posted to his Facebook account a letter he sent to Hasting accusing the company of “rewriting history” with maps that depict Nazi death camps in Polish territory during Germany’s World War II occupation of the region. Morawiecki argued that since the maps don’t include explicit explanation that the camps were run by Germany, the images deceive “viewers into believing that Poland was responsible for establishing and maintaining these camps.”
In Poland, there is strong public resentment for suggestions that the nation was involved in the Holocaust. Last year, Law and Justice party passed a controversial law that barred any claims that Poland was complicit in Nazi war crimes.
Nazi Germany’s September 1939 invasion of Poland marked the beginning of World War II. The Soviet Union invaded 16 days later. During the 1939-45 occupation, an estimated 6 million Poles were killed, including 3 million Jews – 90 per cent of the country’s Jewish population.
Map from episode one of Netflix documentary “The Devil Next Door.” Poland’s prime minister says the map, along with four others, does not make it clear that Poland was under Nazi occupation. (Screenshot: Netflix)
On Thursday, Netflix announced that it planned to alter the The Devil Next Door. In a statement posted on Netflix Poland’s Twitter account, the company said it stood by the filmmakers, but it would add text to some maps. “This will make it clearer that the extermination and concentration camps in Poland were operated by the German Nazi regime,” the note read.
Komentarz w sprawie serialu ‘The Devil Next Door’ (Iwan Groźny z Treblinki). pic.twitter.com/tgg64f8avk
— Netflix Polska (@NetflixPL) November 14, 2019
Netflix did not respond to a Gizmodo request for comment. The New York Times reports that Netflix does not believe the maps are incorrect. Netflix will make the changes within a few days, according to Variety.
Morawiecki responded to the news in a Facebook post thanking Netflix. “Mistakes are not always made of bad will, so it is worth talking constructively about correcting them,” the Prime Minister wrote.
This is just the latest example of Netflix adhering to requests from foreign governments. Last month, Hastings defended the streaming service’s decision to pull an episode of the Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj, explaining that the company is in “trying to entertain” and “not trying to do ‘truth to power.’”
Featured image: Getty