Auschwitz Museum Will Ban Scarfs, Flags During Euro 2012 Soccer Tournament

Auschwitz Museum Will Ban Scarfs, Flags During Euro 2012 Soccer TournamentSoccer fans visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland during Euro 2012, may not display flags, scarves, “vuvuzelas” or any other accessories, officials announced on Thursday.

“We know that the passions aroused by this great sporting event are very strong and should not be expressed in visits to this place of memory,” said Pawel Sawicki, spokesman for the Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The museum has also decided to prohibit, for security reasons, backpacks and any other type of bags.

“We have decided to strengthen our level of vigilance during this period in order to avoid any problems caused by any museum visitors whose attitude might not be really respectful,” said Sawicki.

Euro 2012 will take place in Poland and the Ukraine from June 8 to July 1.

Soccer teams of four of the 16 teams in the tournament — Germany, Italy, England and the Netherlands — are planning to visit Auschwitz in the coming weeks, according to the Polish press.

Sawicki did not confirm these visits, but said that the teams will be welcome in a private capacity.

“It would be in a climate of respect and remembrance for the victims of the concentration camp and in the silence and calm that befits the discovery of its history,” he said.

More than 1.1 million people, of which one million were of Jewish descent but of different nationalities, were murdered between 1940 and 1945 in the camp that the Nazis established in Auschwitz in the south of occupied Poland.

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