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Cartoon depicting EU as Nazi camp sparks outcry



A cartoonist in Rome has sparked a heated controversy in Italy and abroad after depicting the European Union as the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as an escaping prisoner.

Artist Mario Improta posted the cartoon on his Twitter account Saturday, after Johnson’s Conservatives won a majority in the UK election. Johnson ran on a platform of “get Brexit done,” vowing to take Britain out of the European Union by the scheduled deadline of Jan. 31.

The cartoon features Johnson waving a British flag as he flees a concentration camp with the inscription “European Union” in the same position as the words “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work sets you free”) are at the entrance of the Nazi camp.

The comparison between the EU and a concentration camp immediately prompted a wave of criticism from politicians, Rome’s Jewish community and even some of the artist’s followers on Twitter.

The Auschwitz Memorial tweeted in Italian, noting that ”‘Arbeit macht frei’ was a cynical illusion that the SS gave to prisoners of Auschwitz.

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