Polish PM: Obama Nazi Death Camp Gaffe ‘Hurt All Poles’

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polands-prime-minister-donald-tuskPoland’s prime minister said Wednesday that remarks by President Barack Obama erroneously identifying a Nazi death camp as Polish had hurt all Poles and he expected more from the US than “regret.”

“I am convinced that our American friends can today allow themselves a stronger reaction than a simple expression of regret from the White House spokesman — a reaction more inclined to eliminate once and for all these kinds of errors,” Donald Tusk told reporters in Warsaw.

Obama on Tuesday mistakenly called a Nazi facility used to process Jews for execution as a “Polish death camp.” The White House later said the president “misspoke” and expressed “regret”.

The linguistic faux pas overshadowed his posthumous award of America’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Jan Karski, a former Polish anti-Nazi underground officer who provided the Allied powers with early eyewitness accounts of the Germany’s Holocaust against Jews.

Obama’s words had “hurt all Poles,” Tusk said Wednesday.

“Today this is a problem for the reputation of the United States. This can be an opportunity for the US administration and for President Obama to support Poland in its activity for historic truth,” Tusk added.

The Polish government keenly watches the global media for descriptions of former concentration camps as “Polish” because it says the term — even if used simply as a geographical indicator — can give the impression that Poland bore responsibility for Nazi Germany’s World War II genocide.

Although located in Poland, Nazi Germany’s most notorious World War II death camp — Auschwitz — was set up and run entirely by German dictator Adolf Hitler’s occupying forces from 1940 to 1945.

While most of the camp’s 1.1 million victims were Jews deported from other German-occupied nations, the Nazis sent at least 300,000 Polish Jews there.

Polish Jews represented around half the six million killed in the Holocaust.

Until 1942, the camp was primarily a prison and killing centre for non-Jewish Poles such as resistance members. An estimated 75,000 died there, out of around 2.6 million non-Jewish Poles who perished under the Nazi German occupation of their country.

{AFP/Matzav.com Newscenter}

16 COMMENTS

  1. “The Polish government keenly watches the global media for descriptions of former concentration camps as “Polish” because it says the term — even if used simply as a geographical indicator — can give the impression that Poland bore responsibility for Nazi Germany’s World War II genocide.”

    My father who was born and grew up in Brisk told us that the Germans did not liquidate the Brisker ghetto, the Poles were unleashed and did it with pleasure. He lost a sister, mother, brother-in-law and nephew. The Poles’ hands are as bloody as the Nazis.

  2. Poles are just as guilty as the Germans. My Grandfather used to tell me that the Lithuanians, Poles, Cheks, Poles, etc, were worse than any Nazi.

    The Poles along with the rest of Europa can go and burn.

  3. As much as our dear leader, is ill informed- as he so often is, the Polish government should let this one go. I don’t think they really want to dredge up their history regarding their treatment of Jews from the 1650’s till 1939.

    Unless they want to discuss the Chmielnicki Uprising, the Cossacks, the Pogroms and of course the forced expulsion from a number of cities in the 16th and 17th centuries.

    Ask any of the few Polish survivors left how the Poles treated them after liberation…The stories are horrifying.

    Let it go Mr. Tusk… Let it go.

  4. Pick your batteles wisely!

    The president has a history of making silly gaffe.

    This one is not worth making a issue over.

  5. The Poles have forgotten the Yedvabne incident were they burned about 3000 jews inside a barn in 1946. I believe the Germans were defeated in 1945. So why the outpouring of such love? Oh I forgot. The Pollacken probably didn’t hear that the war was over! Anyway who comes to fight the Deutche panzer tanken with horses?
    I wouldn’t laugh at Obama if I were a Pollack.

  6. I agree with all the above comments.

    Mr. Tusk is upset because he expected more than “regret.” Why does he expect so much from Obama?

  7. Much ignorance in all the above comments! Poland was the only occupied country to have a death penalty for helping Jews, why would that be?? It was the only occupied country with an official resistance movt. Look at the French regime? Shame on all of you for your ignorance of the great scars that war had on Poland and where her men and women resisted the Nazi from the beginning to end. In Jerusalem the most names of those who helped the Jews in the war are POLISH!

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