Portuguese teenagers who wrote names on Auschwitz gate sentenced

Birkenau nazi death camp near Oswieciem, Poland. Photo: AP/Matthias Schrader

A Polish court has handed one-year suspended prison terms and fined two Portuguese teenagers who wrote their names on a gate of the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.

A lawyer for the pair, aged 17 and 18, said they regret and have apologised for putting their names and the date on the red brick gate of Birkenau, part of the Auschwitz complex.

The teenagers were there on July 28 while attending a world youth meeting with Pope Francis in Poland.

Under Polish law, any damage to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial is a crime.

One of the teenagers used a pen to inscribe his name, the other a stone.

Defence lawyer Marcin Surowiec said he plans to appeal against the sentences because his clients did not damage the gate.


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