Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Naked Protesters Sentenced To Prison For Killing Sheep At Auschwitz

A court in Poland sentenced two activists to prison, and nine others were ordered to pay fines, in connection with a bizarre 2017 incident in which the protesters slaughtered a sheep, stripped naked and chained themselves to the infamous “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Protest organizer Adam Bialiatski, who killed the sheep, said his action was done to protest wars in Ukraine and Syria, the Associated Press reported. The protesters had also unfurled a banner that said “Love” and chanted the phrase “”I love all people, I love our planet, I have no enemies.”

“Our Ukrainian brothers and sisters are still dying,” Bialiatski told the AP last year. “We thought if we do this performance art in a place like Auschwitz, we will attract attention to the war.”

During their 2018 conviction hearing, Judge Bozena Holecka revealed that the sheep was stabbed 15 times. “How can you protest violence by using violence?” the judge asked.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum criticized the protest when it occurred in a statement. “Using the symbol of Auschwitz to any kind of manifestation of happenings is outrageous and unacceptable. It is disrespectful to the memory of all the victims of the German Nazi Auschwitz concentration camp,” the statement said.

Around 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were killed at Auschwitz during World War II.

Contact Aiden Pink at [email protected] or on Twitter at @aidenpink.



Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.