Netflix to add clarification to documentary that angered Poland

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — Netflix said that it will add a clarification on some maps shown in its new documentary about the Nazi concentration camp guard John Demjanjuk following complaints.

The correction announcement Thursday came days after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki sent a letter to Netflix’s chief executive saying the maps featured in the series “The Devil Next Door” should be modified. They showed Nazi death camps in an area labeled as Poland, even though they were erected there by Nazi Germany after it invaded Poland and occupied it during World War II.

Last year, the Polish government has passed legislation outlawing phrases like “Polish death camps,” which it says blames the Polish nation for crimes committed partly against it by the Nazis.

A Netflix spokeswoman said Thursday that the company will not alter the maps themselves, but will add text saying that the camps were run by the Nazi regime, which invaded the country in 1939 and occupied it until 1945. She was careful to say that the move was a response to complaints from subscribers rather than from Poland, The New York Times reported.

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Released last week, the documentary focuses on the case of Demjanjuk, a retired autoworker from the Cleveland area who was put on trial in Israel in the 1980s after he was accused of being the notoriously cruel guard “Ivan the Terrible” at the Nazi-run concentration camps.

Demjanjuk was acquitted on appeal in Israel but prosecuted and convicted of crimes against humanity in Germany. He died in 2012 while appealing that conviction.