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Naked Auschwitz demonstrators who killed sheep convicted

An exterior view of The Auschwitz complex Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The incident took place last March beneath the main gate at Auschwitz

Twelve people who stripped naked in front of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz and killed a sheep have been convicted of profaning the site.

A court in the Polish city of Oswiecim jailed two of the group for more than a year and fined the rest.

The incident took place last March beneath the site's main gate, which bears the infamous slogan "Arbeit Macht Frei" ("Work sets you free").

About 1.1 million people were murdered by the Nazis at the camp.

At the time of the incident, officials said the motive was unclear but the group later said they were protesting against the war in Ukraine.

The director of the Auschwitz museum, Piotr Cywinski, said they had hurt the millions of people whose relatives died in the camp.

"These people desecrated one of the most tragic places in the world… by shamelessly trying to use it to propagate vague ideas that never really were explained", he told Polish news agency PAP.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption One of the defendants pictured during the trial at the District Court in Oswiecim, Poland

The individuals involved, aged between 20 and 27, include six Poles, four Belarusians and one German, police said at the time of the incident.

They launched a firecracker in the car park and chained themselves to the gates before museum guards intervened.

Local media reported that the group used a drone to film the disturbance, and draped a white banner with the red text "love" over the gate.

In a statement, the Auschwitz museum said: "Using the symbol of Auschwitz for any kind of manifestations or happenings is outrageous and unacceptable."

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