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German historians condemn use of 'Polish death camps'

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 20.01.2014 09:17
The German Association of Historians has condemned the use of the phrase 'Polish concentration camps' in international media reports describing Auschwitz and other WWII-era German Nazi camps in Poland.

The term "suggests a completely false idea of who was responsible for the crimes," a statement by the association, which brings together thousands of academics and researchers says.

The US-based Kosciuszko Foundation has led a campaign, backed by the Polish Foreign Ministry, against the use of the term "Polish camps" when describing German Nazi death camps on occupied Polish territory during WWII, where millions of Jews and others died.

US president Barack Obama apologised after he used the phrase when describing the heroics of Jan Karski, who escaped Nazi-occupied Poland during the war to tell the West of the horrors of the Holocaust.

“Before one trip across enemy lines, resistance fighters told [Karski] that Jews were being murdered on a massive scale and smuggled him into the Warsaw Ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself,” Obama said in 2012.

he condemnation of the term by German historians will be significant, Krzysztof Ruchniewicz, a historian at the University of Wroclaw, has told the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

"The German appeal will have a much bigger effect than all the previous Polish protests," he said. (pg)

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