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Fact Check-Nazi symbols in Warsaw were part of movie set for World War Two film

Social media users are sharing images of Warsaw, Poland decorated with Nazi flags and swastikas, but the images are missing context. The images show the headquarters of the Polish Academy of Sciences, whose representatives told Reuters that the building and its immediate surroundings were turned into a movie set for a World War Two production.

One Facebook user sharing the images said, “Poles in Warsaw today ended up in the Third Reich a parallel reality. Posters with a swastika and Nazi flags were hung on the streets of the Polish capital Citizens and guests of the capital of Poland, in horror, flooded Twitter with a reaction to what was happening (sic)” (here).

More iterations of the claim can be seen (here), (here) and (here).

The building shown in the images is the Staszic Palace in Warsaw, the headquarters of the Polish Academy of Sciences, or Polska Akademia Nauk (PAN) in Polish (pan.pl/). Photos of the Staszic Palace can be found on Google Maps (www.shorturl.at/nvMOU), showing a building that matches the one circulating on social media.

It is true that Nazi flags and banners were hung at Staszic Palace as well as the Nicolas Copernicus Monument (www.shorturl.at/psS68) and Krakowski Przedmieście street (www.shorturl.at/xDOR3), but this was for the filming of a Polish-British historical feature film directed by James Marquand (www.imdb.com/name/nm1847908/).

Katarzyna Kalinowska, a senior specialist at PAN, told Reuters that the film, under the working title “Skarbek,” tells the story of “one of the most intriguing Polish female agents working for the British secret service,” Krystyna Skarbek, who took on a “mission to rescue Polish fighter pilots from occupied Warsaw” during World War Two.

More information on Skarbek, known as Christine Granville in England, and her work for the British Special Operations Executive during World War Two can be found (here).

Kalinowska said the Nazi symbols could only be hung at Staszic Palace and its immediate surroundings on the day of filming from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on October 15, 2022. She said that the Staszic Palace gave permission to use the “Palace and the square in front of it as elements of the movie set,” and noted that “the consent was given to place film decorations referring to WWII period on the Palace façade and shoot film in the building’s arcades.”

VERDICT

Missing context. Nazi symbols in Warsaw were part of a movie set for a film about World War Two.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts (here).

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