Netflix will be amending some of the maps used in its documentary series The Devil Next Door after sparking controversy with Polish authorities.
The show — which follows the trial of John Demjanjuk, who was accused of actually being a Ukranian concentration camp guard nicknamed Ivan the Terrible — used maps to identify where the Nazi concentration camps were located. However, Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki claimed they were incorrectly drawn.
According to Variety, Morawiecki expressed his frustrations in a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, arguing that the borders drawn on the maps pointed to Poland, when in fact this was the Nazi regime’s territory.
.@netflix "Devil next door" tells an important story. However not only it shows a map of Central Europe with post-war (not war-time occupation) borders but also the locations of Chelmno and Majdanek camps are simply wrong. One could expect more accuracy in such a production. pic.twitter.com/iiJ9Mkmwud— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 10, 2019
“Not only is the map incorrect, but it deceives viewers into believing that Poland was responsible for establishing and maintaining these camps, and for committing the crimes therein,” Morawiecki explained in his letter. “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.”
The outlet noted that the producers of Next Door portrayed maps that were used in U.S. and Israeli TV coverage of Demjanjuk’s 1980s trial, and have agreed to edit the series — a very rare move for the streaming service.
According to Variety, Netflix will be adding on-screen text to further explain the context of the maps. However, it will likely take a few days for the changes to be viewable.
“We are hugely proud of The Devil Next Door and stand by its filmmakers, their research and their work,” Netflix told Variety. “In order to provide more information to our members about the important issues raised in this documentary and to avoid any misunderstanding, in the coming days we will be adding text to some of the maps featured in the series. This will make it clearer that the extermination and concentration camps in Poland were built and operated by the German Nazi regime, [which] invaded the country and occupied it from 1939-1945.”
The Devil Next Door is streaming on Netflix now.