Italian Jewish leader detained temporarily after Auschwitz broadcast


ROME (JTA) — The president of the Jewish community of Rome was detained overnight by Polish police after setting off an alarm at the former Auschwitz concentration camp.

Riccardo Pacifici and the prominent Italian journalist David Parenzo were released from police custody on Wednesday morning following the intervention of the Italian Embassy in Poland.

They had been brought in for questioning after being locked in the camp after finishing a live broadcast for an Italian television station at 11 p.m. Tuesday and setting off an alarm trying to find a way out, according to Italian media reports. The broadcast followed a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the camp’s liberation.

Hearing the alarm, camp security guards came running and called the local police. Pacifici, whose father was killed at Auschwitz, said the situation became more complicated because no one spoke Italian and they don’t speak Polish, according to Italian reports.

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