Poland is pressing Netflix to change a map in one of its documentary series, accusing the streaming service of “rewriting history.”
On Sunday Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki posted to his Facebook account a letter he sent to Netflix CEO Reed Hasting expressing his concern over maps shown in The Devil Next Door. The five-part series presents the trial of John Demjanjuk, a former US mechanic who was accused of being the infamous Nazi death camp guard Ivan the Terrible. In 2011 he was convicted of the crimes in a German court.
As Reuters points out in its reporting of the Prime Minister’s concerns, the Netflix series presents maps that show the death camps that the Nazis built in Polish territory during Germany’s World War II occupation of the country. In Morawiecki’s letter to Netflix, Morawiecki argues that the map “falsely places several German Nazi concentration camps in modern-day Poland’s borders” without any “explanation whatsoever that these sites were German-operated,” thereby deceiving “viewers into believing that Poland was responsible for establishing and maintaining these camps.”
“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,” Morawiecki wrote in the letter, adding that he believes the mistake was unintentional and he hopes Netflix will fix the map soon.
Netflix did not immediately respond to a Gizmodo request for comment, but a company spokesperson told Reuters, “We are aware of the concerns regarding The Devil Next Door and are urgently looking into the matter.”
Poland’s Law and Justice party passed legislation last year that outlaws accusations that the country was complicit in the Holocaust. Under the controversial law, an offence such as presenting a map like the one shown in The Devil Next Door could be punished with a three-year prison sentence.
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