Poland’s prime minister has asked Netflix to make changes to a documentary about the Nazi death camps.
Mateusz Morawiecki said the series includes a map which locates the death camps inside the borders of modern-day Poland.
He said this implies Poland was responsible for the death camps, when it was actually occupied by Germany in World War Two.
The map appears in a documentary series called The Devil Next Door that chronicles the story of John Demjanjuk, a retired American car worker convicted by a German court in 2011 of having been a Nazi death camp guard during the war.
Mr Morawiecki said in a letter to Netflix’s chief executive Reed Hastings: “There is no comment or any explanation whatsoever that these sites (on the map) were German-operated
“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.”
Mr Morawiecki said he believed the mistake was unintentional and that the company would correct it, either by modifying the map or providing an explanation in the film.
.@Netflix, stay true to historical facts!
During the time which the “The Devil Next Door” series describes, Poland’s territory was occupied, and it was Nazi Germany who was responsible for the camps. The map shown in the series does not reflect the actual borders at that time. pic.twitter.com/W5i8C9THo3
— Ministry of Foreign Affairs 🇵🇱 (@PolandMFA) November 10, 2019
A Netflix spokesperson told Reuters news agency: “We are aware of the concerns regarding The Devil Next Door and are urgently looking into the matter.”
Poland is sensitive to suggestions that it might be complicit in Nazi crimes committed on its territory.
The ruling nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS) last year passed a law allowing courts to jail anybody who made such a suggestion.
Poland was home to one of the world’s biggest Jewish communities before it was almost wiped out by the Nazis.
During decades of Soviet-imposed communist rule after World War Two, Poles were taught to believe that the country had conducted itself with honour during a war that killed a fifth of the population.
Many people in Poland still refuse to accept research that shows thousands of Poles participated in the Holocaust in addition to the thousands who risked their lives to help the Jews.
A German court convicted Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk in 2011 pending appeal as an accessory to the murder of 27,000 Jews at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland.
He died in 2012 in a German nursing home aged 91 before his appeal was heard.