Brexit cartoon depicts EU as Auschwitz, Boris Johnson as prisoner

The illustrator describes himself as a "anti-euro nationalist" and stood by his work. In the past, he has collaborated with the municipality of Rome.

Screenshot from Twitter account of Mario Improta. (photo credit: SCREENSHOT FROM TWITTER ACCOUNT OF MARIO IMPROTA.)
Screenshot from Twitter account of Mario Improta.
An Italian cartoonist has depicted Brexit portraying the European Union as Auschwitz and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a prisoner, excited to get out of the gates.
In the image, the gate, similar to the notorious one that marked the entrance of the Nazi death camp, features the inscription “European Union,” in the same position and style as the words  ‘Arbeit macht frei’ (work sets you free), which appeared at the entrance of Auschwitz.
Mario Improta, nicknamed Marione, posted the illustration on his Twitter account on Saturday.
In his profile, Improta describes himself as an anti-EU and anti-euro nationalist. He has recently acquired a certain visibility because of his work for the municipality of Rome, creating a campaign featuring the city’s Mayor Virginia Raggi as a manga hero.
Improta’s cartoon has sparked widespread outrage.
In a tweet in Italian, the Auschwitz Memorial, which runs the museum in the former Nazi camp, harshly condemned the image.
“’Arbeit macht frei’ was a cynical illusion that the SS gave to prisoners of Auschwitz. These words have become one of the icons of human hatred. It is painful for the memory of Auschwitz and its victims to see this symbol used and shamefully abused,” the tweet read.
After initially dissociating herself just from the cartoon, Raggi eventually decided to interrupt the collaboration with Improta, according to the Rome-based paper Il Messaggero.
After the controversy broke, Improta changed the cartoon by portraying the European Union as a toilet and said that he was not correct to use the image of Auschwitz on Monday.
However, in a Facebook post on Tuesday, he defended his original work.
“The pathetic and instrumental mountain of mud that I am enduring because I dared to compare the European Union to an extermination camp shows how disgusting uniformity of thought and political correctness are,” he wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
He then accused “a gang of criminals” of “devastating the economy” and causing “five million Italians to starve” by implementing the very same political correctness.
“But I will never be like you, hypocrites,” he added.