WWE Apologizes For Using Auschwitz Footage In WrestleMania 39 Promo Package

One of the more bizarre stories coming out of the first half of WrestleMania 39 was that, in the version of the Rey Mysterio vs. Dominik Mysterio video package that aired on the kickoff show, footage of Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz was used to represent "prison." Though the entire "prison" section of the video was quickly edited off of the version of the kickoff show on WWE's YouTube channel, it was archived in at least one tweet on Saturday night, while WWE's production team rectified the issue in time for the package being aired during the main show before the Mysterios' match. Still, WWE had not publicly acknowledged the peculiar error, and the story heated up on Wednesday when the official Twitter account of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum condemned WWE's use of the footage.

That was enough to catch the attention of mainstream media and force WWE's hand to acknowledge the error and apologize, which they did on Friday morning in a statement to various media outlets, including NBC News. "We had no knowledge of what was depicted," a WWE spokesperson said in the statement. "As soon as we learned, it was removed immediately. We apologize for this error." No explanation was given as to where the stock footage of Auschwitz was sourced from or how it might have been labeled.

Saturday's error is the latest in a string of unforced errors on WWE's part with regard to Nazis and Nazi imagery that have been in the news since early 2022. It started with GUNTHER's post-"WALTER" ring name initially being planned as "Gunther Stark" despite being the name of a Nazi U-boat commander. Additionally, GUNTHER's "WWE 2K23" rating was initially 88, a white supremacist dog whistle GUNTHER himself has insisted that Imperium's gimmick has nothing to do with fascism.