August 11, 2005

Dutch prosecutors to check spoof Auschwitz video

AMSTERDAM/WARSAW (Reuters) - Dutch prosecutors will launch
an investigation into a spoof video portraying the Auschwitz
Nazi death camp as a techno party to decide whether to take
action against its makers, an official said on Thursday.

The video, billed as an advert for a rave party called
"Housewitz," has angered Polish authorities who asked the Dutch
Foreign Ministry to punish the makers and remove the clip from
a Web site.

The clip is illustrated with pictures of the death camp,
advertising a "free taxi ride home" with a picture of a heap of
corpses on a wheelbarrow and a "hot shower" with a picture of a
gas chamber.

Some 1.5 million people, mostly Jews, were murdered at the
death camp in Poland.

The Amsterdam public prosecutor's office said it would
investigate the video after receiving an official complaint
from the Dutch Complaints Bureau for Discrimination on the
Internet (MDI).

"We received an official complaint by MDI and the public
prosecutor will look at the video," the prosecutor's spokesman

"The prosecutor saw the video a couple of weeks ago, when
MDI first complained about it, but he didn't find it illegal
and did not take any actions against the makers," he said.

However, now the MDI has lodged an official complaint,
prosecutors are obliged to re-examine the case.

"We don't like the video but we cannot guarantee that the
prosecutor will change his mind this time and find it illegal,"
the spokesman said.

MDI complained on Wednesday that the video was against
Dutch law. It said that three sites had removed it voluntarily
and its producer, a 22-year-old student, had apologized.

MDI had also asked Amsterdam prosecutors to get the clip
removed from another Dutch Web site,
Representatives for the site were not available to comment.

Earlier on Thursday, Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman
Tomasz Szeratics told PAP news agency the video was still
available on the site.

"There is no doubt that in the Netherlands and Poland alike
such publication is violating the law," Szeratics said.

(Additional reporting by Anna Mudeva and Emma Thomasson in