“Come to Auschwitz!” Czech Tour Bus Stirs Controversy

“Come to Auschwitz!” Czech Tour Bus Stirs Controversy

The transformation of Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz into a somber tourist attraction is a topic usually treated with some sensitivity and grace.

Buses transporting foreign tourists to the former death camp are not an uncommon sight in Poland.

But they are also something that filmmaker Vít Klusák chose to satirize for an upcoming movie, according to iDnes.cz. 

For the film, titled Svět podle Dalibora, the director outfitted a tour bus with kitschy slogans, a giant Star of David, and photos from the WWII concentration camp.

“Come to Auschwitz,” reads bold text across the back of bus. “A journey through emotions.”

“Our guides can speak Czech!” is scrawled below, in comic-sans font.

In context in director Klusák’s film, the bus presumably provides a bit of darkly humorous satire.  

But after filming, the bus seems to have taken on a life of its own on the roads of the Czech Republic.

The Auschwitzmobile, complete with all the original imagery, can apparently be rented by tour agencies through the pages of Auto Xaver, though we doubt anyone would be brave enough to drive it into Poland. 

The Prague Jewish Museum isn’t happy.

“[It] advertises a trip to the former death camp as Auschwitz-style adventure tourism,” Museum director Leo Pavlát told iDnes.

“We have sent a letter to them – perhaps they did not realize the context – but the images are to be removed as soon as possible.”

But owner Svatopluk Strava refuses to remove them.

“I use the bus, I have to somehow earn money, and to remove the stickers would destroy the finish,” he told 5plus2. “Removal would cost about 40,000 crowns.”

Dave Park

David Park was born and raised in Baltimore and has been living in the Czech Republic since 2009 after studying journalism in Prague. No stranger to controversial topics, feel free to comment on his articles and let him know how you *really* feel.

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