Parts of the graffiti were reportedly anti-Semitic and littered with phrases used by Holocaust-deniers.
Police are investigating graffiti in both English and German scattered on barracks around the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Nine wooden barracks were vandalized in an area of the museum site which does not have CCTV cameras. The incident was detected by the security guard on Tuesday.
According to police spokesman Malgorzata Jureka, police are now searching for the person or people responsible for vandalizing a historic object, which carries a prison sentence of up to eight years.
Court experts have yet to determine whether the graffiti is actually anti-Semitic – if authorities decide that, the perpetrators could face an additional three years in prison for hate crime charges.
Museum officials described parts of the graffiti as anti-Semitic and borrowed phrases from Holocaust deniers.
Museum activists and Israel’s Yad Vashem – the official Holocaust memorial – on Wednesday condemned the vandalism and described it as a crime for the 1.1 million people killed in the infamous Nazi death camp between 1940 and 1945.
The Nazi victims were made up of European Jews, Poles and Romani people, as well as Soviet prisoners of war.
Many died in gas chambers, from starvation, disease, or forced labor imposed on prisoners.
Yad Vashem president Dani Dayan said on Wednesday: “This incident, at such a large and important site of Holocaust atrocities, strikes not only at the memory of the victims, but also on survivors and anyone with conscience.
“This is yet another painful reminder that more must be done to raise awareness of the Holocaust and to educate the public and the younger generation about the dangers of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial and perversion.”
The concentration camp was converted into a museum and memorial shortly after World War II ended.
Before the pandemic, it was an incredibly popular site, and in 2019, it had over two million visitors.