WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – The president of the national tourist organization in Poland was fired after noting in a newspaper interview that he had removed the Auschwitz memorial from the itinerary for foreign journalists’ visits.
Marek Olszewski, who has held his post since March, also suggested a similar move for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw in the Gazeta Wyborcza story published Wednesday .
Polish Minister of Tourism Witold Bańka in a tweet the same day said he was firing Olszewski immediately over what he called the “scandalous remarks.” Banka was unaware that Olszewski had removed the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum until the story was published.
Olszewski told the newspaper: “As the head of the Polish Tourist Organization, who loves his country, I want to show its best side, through our monuments, culture, hospitality, wonderful music. Auschwitz is not a tourist product but a place of martyrology, reverie and reflection, and we are promoting Poland as an attractive tourist destination.”
He added later: “It was Poles, not the Jewish elites, that were completely plowed and liquidated during the war. Let us remember that the whole Jewish culture in practice has survived.”
This story "Polish Tourism Chief Fired After Yanking Auschwitz From Journalist Itineraries" was written by JTA.