Poland's Prime Minister Accuses Netflix's 'Devil Next Door' of "Rewriting History"

The Devil Next Door_LimitedSeries-Publicity still - H 2019
Courtesy Netflix

Mateusz Morawiecki filed a letter of complaint to CEO Reed Hastings about the docuseries' use of allegedly false maps that place World War II concentration camps within the borders of modern-day Poland.

Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has complained to Netflix about allegedly historically false maps of Poland in World War II in the streaming service's documentary series The Devil Next Door.

His main objection is that the series shows a map that "falsely places several German Nazi concentration camps in modern-day Poland's borders."

"There is no comment or any explanation whatsoever that these sites (on the map) were German-operated," Morawiecki said in a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings published Monday on the prime minister's Facebook page.

He added, "As my country did not even exist at that time as an independent state, and millions of Poles were murdered at these sites, this element of The Devil Next Door is nothing short of rewriting history."

While Devil Next Door does not give a detailed analysis of the role Poles played in World War II — and does not mention the fact that Poles saved many thousands of Jews from the Holocaust by hiding and sheltering them — the focus of the series is very much on the Israeli trial of war criminal John Demjanjuk.

"We are aware of the concerns regarding The Devil Next Door and are urgently looking into the matter," a Netflix spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter.

The series, which premiered on Nov. 4, focuses on the documentary evidence for Demjanjuk's service in the SS and at Nazi-operated death camps such as Sobibor and Treblinka. It replicates a map used in the trial placing those camps on Polish territory at a time when, technically, they were on Nazi-occupied territory in what Germany authorities referred to as the General Government or General Governorate (i.e. occupied Poland).