An Apology to Auschwitz Memorial @AuschwitzMuseum

by Neil Patterson

3 months ago

An Apology to Auschwitz Memorial @AuschwitzMuseum

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An Apology to Auschwitz Memorial @AuschwitzMuseum

On 29th December 2017 I published an article about how UK landlords could be criminalised and even face prison sentences as a result of their tenants failing to use the correct recycling dustbins, and other matters. Here is a link to that article, which has been the cause of outrage for many more reasons than it was intended.

When looking for a featured image to add to the article I searched for the keyword Prison on the Pexels stock images website. I had no idea that the image I selected was one of¬†Auschwitz and I certainly didn’t intend to offend the memorial or indeed anybody else. The image I used is the same one as used in this article.

I sincerely apologise for any offense caused and have now changed the image on the article that caused offense.

I have also made a donation to the Auschwitz Memorial

Apparently, the matter went viral on Twitter but I don’t use Twitter myself, hence I was blissfully unaware. The Property118 Twitter feed is only used for automated broadcasting of new articles and is rarely monitored.

Mark Alexander, who is the founder of Property118 was also tweeted, but only became aware of the matter today. He has been traveling since 21st December and has been seriously ill in hospital in Russia (his second home) more recently. He only discovered the Tweets this morning and reported them to me. I also had a message from the Metro Newspaper on my answerphone this morning and now see they have published THIS ARTICLE.

The matter had been reported to Twitter and we also received emails from them this morning to advise us that the matter had been reported several times but they were taking no action on the basis that we had not breached their T&C’s or any copyright or other laws.

I have today searched the keyword “Prison” on the Pexels website and noticed that the picture I had used did not come up. I suspect they too may have realised that unintentional use of that particular image can lead to undue stress to many people.

Once again, I apologise to anybody I have unintentionally offended.

Comments

Mark Alexander

3 months ago

Well said Neil. I wouldn't have realised that was a picture of Auschwitz either, and I visited the place a few years ago when staying near to Krakow for a Speedway Grand Prix.

I just showed the picture to another friend and asked him what he thought it was an image of. He didn't know either and guessed that it might be an Army barracks.

Clearly you made an innocent mistake.

I know for certain that you would have intended no offence and that your article was about how ludicrous some of the new laws are. How can I, as a landlord, be responsible for how my tenants dispose of the rubbish?

I have read the Twitter comments and some people have suggested that you were comparing the ludicrous new laws affecting landlords to the suffering that went on at Auschwitz. In my opinion, it is those who made that connection that have sick minds. Your explanation makes far more sense.

Dr Rosalind Beck

3 months ago

Hi Neil. It says the Metro contacted you for comment. If they had tried harder it could have been cleared up and they wouldn't have needed to write the article. The Metro is very anti-landlord so love this sort if thing. They wouldn't want a little thing like the truth getting in the way. Don't worry about it. Any one of us could have made that mistake. I have really strong opinions on the Holocaust and wouldn't have recognised that photo as being one of Auschwitz. Also it was clear in the text that you made no reference to Auschwitz as you didn't know that was what the photo was of. They've made a story out of nothing.

Kevin Thomson

3 months ago

get well soon Mark.

Problem is, you are still using the same image in the apology...Auschwitz Memorial have tweeted asking you to remove it....maybe an apology type image would be more suitable?

Mark Alexander

3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Phoenix High Court Enforcement . at 16/01/2018 - 10:19
Sorry but I disagree. People will want to see the image which caused all the fuss. It is only fair to Neil that he is allowed to show this image so that people can judge for themselves what his intentions were.

As for deleting Tweets, I do not think that would be appropriate either because it would leave the discussion open to interpretation as to what has occurred.

Clearly an innocent mistake has caused unintended offence, removing images or Tweets would make that less clear.

Neil Patterson

3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Dr Rosalind Beck at 16/01/2018 - 10:13
Thank you Ros, I had no idea what it was a small section of. It was on a normally very reliable images website.

Denise G

3 months ago

I'm sure everyone who knows you Neil will understand that it was a genuine mistake that unfortunately caused such totally unintended offense. What a shame that no-one thought to alert you or speak to you before stoking the fire. You have apologised unreservedly and now you can do no more - but you have my sympathy because I know that the unintended consequences of this must be causing you real distress.

Neil Patterson

3 months ago

Thank you and your support is appreciated.

Luke P

3 months ago

Even if it were intended (which it has been clearly explained it was not), then far too many tedious links have to be made in the minds of the 'offended'. It's almost as though a proper thought-process was not employed and a huge leap from "That's a picture of Auschwitz!" to "Terrible happenings went on at Auschwitz." therefore "It should not be mentioned/referenced -whether in context, accidental or otherwise, or just merely by a fairly benign photograph- by anyone ever (but I can't conclusively state why)...all I know is I'm offended, because it feels right and I will make a fuss far beyond that which is reasonable or proportionate."

Perhaps the link is 'Landlords face prison', inference that prison could be like Auschwitz (which UK prisons are quite obviously not), thus use of the image makes light of a horrendous period in history?

I'm offended by the idiocy of those taking exception to this when Auschwitz is not only no longer in operation, but also not even in the UK and so quite obviously not a serious reference to any realistic consequence to the actions (or lack of) by landlords.

You have to concentrate really hard and go looking for offence like that though...IMO.

Larry Sweeney

3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 16/01/2018 - 10:01Hi Neil,
You made an honest mistake and followed up with a sincere apology. It was very thoughtful of you to also make a donation to the memorial fund. The Holocaust remains one of the most savage acts ever perpetrated against innocent civilians. An honest mistake certainly is not anti Semitism and the manner in which you addressed it is most admirable. Unfortunately many politicians especially in the labour party have expressed blatant anti semitic views deliberately and not apologised. They certainly could learn from your honest fair and enlightened approach to what was clearly an honest mistake.

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