Caddick said the picture was "the iconic image of evil"Daniel Gayne

Emmanuel College has apologised after an image of Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi concentration camp, was printed on leaflets for their freshers’ welcome service on Thursday evening.

The photograph of the camp, which showed the gates and the words ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ or ‘work brings freedom’ were included on the leaflets because they represented “the iconic image of evil,” the College Dean, Reverend Jeremy Caddick, told Cambridge News. The Dean said that his sermon would centre on “our response to gross evil”. He added that it had been inspired by the story of Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish priest who had volunteered to take the place of another prisoner who was due to be killed at Auschwitz.

Caddick said that the sermon was partly a response to a trip taken by Emmanuel’s college choir last year, when they paid a visit to Auschwitz while in Poland. He also refuted the idea that the inclusion of the images was a “sick joke”, describing the insinuation as “infuriating.”

Speaking to Varsity, an anonymous member of Emmanuel choir said of the incident: “I was at first shocked at what can at least be described as a ‘bold’ choice and at worst grossly insensitive. However, the sermon dealt with the image sensitively while also speaking about the extraordinary courage and spirituality of those in the concentration camps, including Maximilian Kolbe”


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They continued, “The sermon touched on universal themes in a sensitive and spiritual way.”

Caddick said that the images were never intended to upset anyone, and this was echoed by a spokeswoman for Emmanuel College, who told Cambridge News: “We understand that without context, this image may have upset people, and we apologise for its use in a way that has caused distress.”

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