One of the Maltese travellers who was photographed brandishing the Nazi salute along the train tracks to Auschwitz has explained that the incident was a joke among friends which took place four years ago.
“We didn’t mean any harm, it was a joke and we were young and immature,” one of the people in the photo told Lovin Malta. “We aren’t far-right, we don’t agree with Nazism and some of us were recently discussing the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler. It was never our intention to promote that ideology and I thought the photo was going to remain between us. It was just a foolish act carried out by youths on holiday.”
Auschwitz was a complex of over 40 Nazi concentration and extermination camps and over 1.1 million people were killed at the site during the Second World War. Lying an hour and a half outside of Krakow, it has since become a popular tourist destination.
Humour and re-appropriated Nazi symbols have been a hot topic in Malta recently after a photo emerged on social media showing 32 fireworks bearing such insignia.
Actress Pia Zammit was also accused by some of being a Nazi sympathiser after she wore a swastika in a 2009 performance of the wartime comedy ‘Allo ‘Allo. Zammit has since sued It-Torċa for libel over the case, condemning its report as a form of intimidation and attempted censorship.