Netflix will edit its recently-released The Devil Next Door docuseries after Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote a letter to CEO Reed Hastings pointing out a “hugely inaccurate” mistake. In a statement to Variety addressing the conflict, prompted by a map that “places several German Nazi concentration camps within modern-day Poland’s borders,” Netflix said that it will add on-screen text to point out the error state that the camps were located in Nazi-occupied territory.
“We are hugely proud of The Devil Next Door and stand by its filmmakers, their research and their work,” the statement reads. “n order to provide more information to our members about the important issues raised in this documentary and to avoid any misunderstanding, in the coming days we will be adding text to some of the maps featured in the series.
“This will make it clearer that the extermination and concentration camps in Poland were built and operated by the German Nazi regime, [which] invaded the country and occupied it from 1939-1945,” the statement concluded.
After the docuseries – which chronicles the trial of John Demjanjuk, a retired Ukrainian-American autoworker accused of being notorious Ukrainian concentration camp guard Ivan the Terrible – debuted on the streamer earlier this month, Morawiecki had written a letter to the company. His criticism with the five-part docuseries centered around a map showing the location of Nazi death camps inside the borders of modern Poland, something that he said was “hugely inaccurate.”
“There is no comment or any explanation whatsoever that these sites (on the map) were German-operated,” he wrote. “Not only is the map incorrect, but it deceives viewers into believing that Poland was responsible for establishing and maintaining these camps, and for committing the crimes therein. As my country did not even exist at that time as an independent state, and millions of Poles were murdered at these sites, this element of The Devil Next Door is nothing short of rewriting history.”
“I believe that this terrible mistake has been committed unintentionally – and I am hoping that you will be able to correct it as soon as possible, by modifying the map or otherwise informing the audience of the error,” he continued. “Today, we still owe this truth to the victims of World War II.”
Coming just a year after the Law and Justice party passed a law criminalizing suggestions that Poland was complicit for Holocaust crime, Polish media outlets suggested that the law could potentially be used to take legal action against Netflix.
At this time, Morawiecki has not responded to Netflix’s decision to amend the series, which a source claimed was not a direct concession to the Polish premier, but rather an acknowledgement that it was “the right thing to do.”
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