Poles demand apology after Obama’s ‘Polish death camp’ remark
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Wednesday sought an apology from the White House after U.S. President Barack Obama mistakenly described a Nazi-run Holocaust site in Poland as a “Polish death camp.”
Obama made the remark while describing the derringdo of Jan Karski during the awarding of a posthumous Medal of Freedom to the Polish World War II resistance fighter on Tuesday. The President referred the Nazi concentration camp, which Karski infiltrated to witness the genocide of Polish Jews by German Nazis, as a “Polish death camp” being located in Poland.
Tusk said the remark was a “false and unjust phrase” that distorts history as it creates a misimpression that Poland had a hand in the genocide.
The White House said it regretted Obama’s misstatement following the speech. On Wednesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney repeated that Obama misspoke and the presidential office regretted it.
But CBS quoted Tusk as saying, “”I am certain that our American friends are capable of a more explicit reaction than issuing a correction and the spokesperson of the White House expressing regret, and that maybe they will once and for all eliminate such errors.”
The Polish government has banned the use of the phrase “Polish death camps” to describe Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka and other Nazi-run prison camps in Poland.
More than half of the six million Poles who died in World War II were Jews and many were gassed to death or died from forced labor at concentration camps.