A US Department of Justice attorney got into a bizarre dispute with the Auschwitz Museum this week, going so far as to publicly and privately threaten them on Twitter.
DOJ attorney McKay Smith accused the museum of blocking accounts belonging to Jewish women and harassing several of his followers.
“@AuschwitzMuseum if you ever intimidate my followers via DM again, or you try to intimidate strong Jewish women who lost family members at Auschwitz, I will confront you. Personally. That’s a promise,” Smith said in a tweet Wednesday.
“Don’t ever test me again, @pawel_sawicki Ever again,” he added, tagging the museum’s press officer who runs the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum’s Twitter account. Smith also sent Sawicki a number of private messages where he additionally threatened to “come after” him.
“He deleted one of his tweets where he accused me of siding with Holocaust deniers,” Sawicki told The Post. “I have been working at the memorial for over 12 years and I think I was never disrespected with such a personal false accusation.”
The spat began after the museum moved to block the account of @WoMenFightAS, which posted a sarcastic tweet accusing the museum of being a front for Polish revisionism, which downplays the country’s role in operating the infamous death camp.
“Your sham of an account [is] forging untruths and #Holocaust denial,” @WoMenFightAS wrote in a post which has been deleted. Word of the block eventually made its way to Smith.
“I’m concerned,” he said in a tweet Tuesday. “@AuschwitzMuseum is now blocking Jewish accounts? Feminist Zionist accounts. A museum dedicated to the Holocaust.”
That prompted the museum to privately message unrelated individual accounts to explain why they issued the block. This incensed Smith, who viewed it as harassment.
“I have followers writing me that are so terrified from your DM that they can’t even write. … You scared them to death. Can’t even speak. [the] ‘Auschwitz museum’ came after them. After it came for their family,” Smith tweeted.
During its years of operation between 1940 and 1945, more than one million inmates perished in the camp. The overwhelming majority of victims were Jews. The camp was liberated by the Soviet army in 1945 and became a museum two years later.
“I think the Museum acted responsibly by taking the conversation from the open space, which usually only invites trolls to pile on, and pushing it into DMs to address people who have tweeted at the museum,” Yossi Gestetner, co-founder of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, told The Post, adding it would have all been better for the dispute to be handled privately.
Neither Smith nor reps for the Department of Justice responded to requests for comment.
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