Polish Prime Minister Slams Netflix for 'Horrible Mistake' About the Holocaust in New Documentary Series

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is criticizing Netflix over what the Polish government views as a "terrible mistake" in the streamer's recently released documentary series The Devil Next Door. In an official complaint to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Morawiecki requested that the company correct a "hugely inaccurate" mistake regarding a map that "places several German Nazi concentration camps within modern-day Poland's borders."

"There is no comment or any explanation whatsoever that these sites (on the map) were German-operated," Morawiecki's Nov. 10-dated letter, published on the prime minister's Facebook page, reads.

"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," he wrote. "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."

Morawiecki went on to urge Netflix to correct the map, which he suggested may have been shown by mistake.

"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 wrote. "Today, we still owe this truth to the victims of World War II."

Responding to the complaint, a spokesperson for Netflix told Reuters that they "are aware of the concerns regarding The Devil Next Door and are urgently looking into the matter."

Premiering on the streamer on Nov. 4, the five-part documentary chronicles the story of John Demjanjuk, a retired Ukrainian-American autoworker convicted by a German court in 2011 of having been a Nazi death camp guard. At one point in the documentary, a map is shown locating Nazi death camps inside the borders of modern Poland.


The documentary aired just a year after the Law and Justice party passed a law criminalizing suggestions that Poland was complicit for Holocaust crimes. According to the Washington Post, Polish media outlets reported Monday that the law could possibly be used to take legal action against Netflix.

This would not be the first time that Netflix has faced opposition over the release of one of their originals. In January, the streamer pulled an episode of Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj, which explored the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia and was critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, after the Saudi government filed a "valid legal request."