Belgian Train Auschwitz Announcement Urges Jews To Shower At Holocaust Death Camp

02/12/2014 11:35 am ET | Updated Feb 12, 2014
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Passengers aboard a train in Belgium were subjected to a chilling announcement that evoked the horrors of the Holocaust, reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

A speaker announcement in French said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we are approaching Auschwitz. All Jews are requested to disembark and take a short shower,” according to the Jerusalem Post.

Unidentified passengers gained access to the speaker system and transmitted the disturbing message, prompting rail company SNCB to file a police complaint over "incitement to hatred." Belgian broadcaster RTL said the announcement occurred during rush hour, at 5 p.m., on a train traveling from Namur to Brussels.

A witness suspects that adolescents may have been responsible for the disgusting announcement.

Thierry Ney, a spokesperson fro the Society of Belgian Railways, told RTL that misuse of the announcement system can be punished with a fine or with jail time, declaring, "We condemn the abuse of the intercom and the words spoken."

In 2012, a similar incident occurred on the very same train line, though the perpetrators were never caught. Passengers heard the message, "Welcome to this train heading to Auschwitz. All Jews are requested to disembark at Buchenwald," over the speaker system.

It's estimated that 25,484 Jews passed through the Belgian city of Mechelen between 1942 and 1944, many of whom ended up at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. Mechelen was nicknamed the "Antechamber of Death" for this reason.

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