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A tourist was detained at the Auschwitz Museum after making a Nazi salute

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The tourist posed near this gate, which reads "Arbeit Macht Frei" (work sets you free).
  • Guards detained a tourist at the Auschwitz Museum on Sunday, Polish News reported. 
  • She was reportedly posing for a photo while using the infamous Nazi salute pose.
  • The woman was detained by museum security and fined, according to Polish News.
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A woman visiting Poland's Auschwitz Museum from the Netherlands was detained on Sunday for making a Nazi salute gesture, Polish News reported

The 29-year-old woman, who has not been named, made the gesture while posing for a photo that her husband, 30, took during their visit to the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp, according to the outlet. She posed in front of the main gate, a visual symbol of the Holocaust, which reads "Arbeit Macht Frei" (work sets you free).

"The Nazi salute is one of the symbols associated with terrible human suffering and filled with contempt and hatred," representatives for the museum told Insider. "While it should not be present at all in the public space, using it at the site of the former camp is unacceptable. It is disrespectful to all victims of the camp."

According to Polish News, museum security guards saw the photo being taken, immediately detained the woman, and alerted the police before 1 p.m on Sunday. The couple was taken to the local Oswiecim headquarters, where the husband was questioned as a witness, according to the outlet

The entrance to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp-turned-museum in Poland.

Polish News also reported that the district prosecutor's office in the south Poland town of Oswiecim imposed a fine on the woman, which she accepted. The news outlet did not specify the amount of the fine, and representatives for the district prosecutor's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment on the matter.

Bartosz Izdebski of the Malopolska Police press office said the woman called her act "a stupid joke," according to Polish News. 

The outlet reported that it's illegal to promote Nazi propaganda in Poland, and public promotion of fascism can be punishable by up to two years in prison. According to an article on Yad Vashem: The World Holocaust Remembrance Center's website, there are many countries throughout Europe with similar laws. 

This was not the first time someone has faced legal consequences for posing in front of the gate at the former camp, which is now a museum. Polish News reported that in 2013, two students from Turkey were fined and sentenced to six months in prison after making a Nazi salute for a similar photo. 

A museum spokesperson told Insider that they hope this recent offense will serve as a warning to future visitors. "We hope that the immediate reaction of the security of the Memorial will be a warning to all people who will be considering using the site of the Memorial as a stage for such shameful manifestations," they said. 

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