Did Ukrainians really place anti-Russian stickers around Auschwitz? Nope.
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Several pro-Russian accounts have been circulating photos that they say show how Ukrainians put anti-Russian stickers in different places in Auschwitz, the former death camp run by the Nazis. The stickers say: "Russia & Russians – The only gas you and your country deserve is Zyklon B", a reference to the toxic gas used by Nazis to kill prisoners in the on-site gas chambers.
If you only have a minute
Photos have been circulating online that some claim show that Ukrainians put up stickers around Auschwitz calling for violence against Russians.
It turns out that these images have been doctored. The Auschwitz Memorial has said that no such stickers appear on site and that the photos have been doctored.
The fact-check, in detail
These four photos, published on June 23, garnered more than 260,000 views on this pro-Russian Telegram channel. The photos show a red and black sticker that says, in English, “Russia & Russians – The only gas you and your country deserve is Zyklon B", stuck on buildings around Auschwitz.
The first photo shows the sticker on a tree. In the second image, it is stuck on a post near a barbed wire fence. In the third, it is stuck on the wall. In the fourth, it is stuck on a concrete post. According to the person who shared the post, these stickers appeared on June 22.
The photos were shared on Twitter with captions in both English, like this post shared on June 23, and in French, like this post shared on June 26.
A photoshopped image
If you analyse these images with Forensically, a software that detects images that have been digitally altered, you can see that the stickers were actually photoshopped onto photos of Auschwitz.
The analysis shows that the stickers featured in the four photos don’t have the same number of pixels as the rest of the image, which is typical in the case of an image that has been digitally altered.
The Forensically software also provides further proof that the images have been digitally altered by looking at the degree of light reflection.
In the photo below, if the sticker had really been stuck on the board, it wouldn’t have reflected the light in the same way. In this image, you can see both the sticker and the wooden board are reflecting light in the same way.
The Auschwitz Memorial also posted a statement about the sticker rumours on Twitter on June 23.
“No such incident was reported at the Memorial. No such stickers have been found – also in locations visible in the published photographs.
"Some anonymous accounts reported that the stickers were supposed to have appeared at the Museum on June 22. However, the monitoring from the past few days did not show any act of sticking anything in the places shown in the photographs that are within the cameras’ range,” the Memorial further explained.
"Everything indicates that the photos are simply a manipulation, and the incident should be treated in terms of primitive and gross propaganda,” the statement concluded.