Israeli, 19, Detained for Urinating on Memorial at Auschwitz

The entrance to Auschwitz (Wikimedia Commons)
A 19-year-old Israeli was detained at the Auschwitz-Birkenau state museum after he was caught urinating on a memorial commemorating the victims of the camp.

He was questioned for several hours and released on Wednesday after voluntarily accepting a fine as punishment, according to local reports. The fine reportedly was $1,500.

According to Polish law, those who desecrate a monument or other public place commemorating a historical event or a person can be punished with a fine or imprisonment.

The Israeli teen was detained at about 1 p.m. Wednesday. According to witnesses, he urinated on a monument located near the ruins of the crematoria in the former Birkenau camp. The museum’s guide saw and notified guards, who in turn called the police.

Auschwitz Museum spokesman Bartosz Bartyzel said he does not recall a similar event involving an Israeli citizen.

Last year, a group of anti-war activists slaughtered a sheep, stripped naked and chained themselves to the gate of the Auschwitz memorial. They were sentenced in January to prison terms and fines.