Jewish leaders have slammed a Belgian physician who practices euthanasia and is nicknamed ‘Doctor Death’ after he organised a tour of Auschwitz, calling the Nazi death camp “inspiring”.

Wim Distelmans, who co-ordinates legalised killings from Brussels, said the £470 visit would “clarify confusion” about dying and address the issue of euthanasia.


Distelmans said Auschwitz trip would be ‘inspiring’

Echoing the thoughts of many, Labour MP Sir Gerald Kaufman said: “To make the notorious Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz (pictured) the centre for a congenial study-trip is preposterous, if not obscene.”

He added: “Whatever one’s views on euthanasia, it is abominable to describe Auschwitz as an inspiring venue. What went on there was the mass murder of innocents.”

In a leaflet, Distelmans said Auschwitz was “the pre-eminent symbol of a degrading end of life” and “an inspiring venue for organising a seminar and reflecting on these issues so that we can consider and clarify confusions”.

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Carlile, the son of Polish Jewish immigrants, said: “This is shocking. It will cause offence to a lot of people throughout Europe, whichever side of the argument they are on.”

He added: “To describe it as an inspiring setting suggests he is either mad, stupid or incompetent.”

However Distelmans defended his decision, saying: “This is not a symposium about euthanasia. It’s a study trip focusing on human rights, suffering and palliative care.”