WARSAW, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Two men were sentenced to prison on Wednesday for their part in acts desecrating the Auschwitz Nazi German death camp in southern Poland, Polish Press Agency reported.
Adam B. will serve 18 months in prison while Mikita V. will serve a year and two months as the main defendants in the case.
On March 24, 2017, a group of over a dozen people stripped naked and tried to handcuff themselves to the camp's main gate. On the iconic 'Arbheit macht frei' sign crowing the gate they draped a sheet bearing the inscription 'Love love', and threw flares. They also brutally killed a sheep. By way of justification, they claimed it was an artistic act meant as an anti-war protest.
The two men were banned from owning animals for 10 years and ordered to pay PLN 2,000 (43000 euros) to an animal rights organisation. The remaining defendants received fines of around PLN 10,000 (2,300 euros), restricted freedom or community service of 32 hours a month. They all have to pay PLN 1,373 (329 euros) in damages to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum.
Following the sentencing, Mikita V. cried: "The court punished us for a work of art. It is unjust."
In passing the sentence, Judge Bozena Holecka highlighted the defendants' disrespectful conduct. "The whole world is aware of what that gate is," she said. "You knew that your conduct could insult the sanctity of the site, that it could be offensive to other people's feelings. I understand that art can shock, but can it offend?"