World News

Auschwitz memorial wants to prosecute neo-fascist for her 'humanly awful' T-shirt

Posted October 31, 2018 3:58 p.m. EDT

— An Italian far-right militant who sported an "Auschwitzland" T-shirt during an extremist rally is being referred to the Polish prosecutor's office for "promotion of Nazi ideology" and "insulting the Auschwitz Memorial," a spokesman for the memorial told CNN.

Pictures and videos of the activist in the T-shirt went viral after she attended the event in Predappio, Italy, last Sunday. She was identified by Italian media as neo-fascist Forza Nuova member Selene Ticchi.

The shirt's font and the logo, which features an illustration of the main entrance to the Birkenau concentration camp, are designed in a style that spoofs Disneyland branding.

The Auschwitz memorial tweeted in response that abusing the symbol of the camp "is humanly awful but above all disrespectful to the memory of all those who suffered and were murdered in Auschwitz, especially to 7,5 thousand Italian Jews deported to the camp."

"We hope Italians will react to this painful incident," the statement continued.

Bartosz Bartyzel, spokesman at the Auschwitz Memorial, confirmed to CNN that the museum "submitted a notification in this case to the Polish prosecutor's office."

"It concerns the promotion of Nazi ideology and insulting the Auschwitz Memorial," he said.

It is unclear what actions could be taken against Ticchi by Polish authorities.

In a video that appeared on the website of the newspaper Repubblica, Ticchi defended the slogan as "black humor."

Forza Nuova announced that it suspended Ticchi "with immediate effect and indefinitely" from the political movement's activities in a statement on Facebook on October 29.

Around 2,000 people attended the annual "March on Rome," on Sunday in Predappio, the birthplace of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.