Condoleezza Rice stands next to a flag, frowning

Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Condoleezza Rice’s staff members have some revising to do

US State Department officials have said they would rewrite an account of Nazi Germany on their Web site after the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center had accused them of playing down the Holocaust.

“We intend to change the language in order to more accurately reflect historical facts,” said J. Christian Kennedy, the State Department’s envoy for Holocaust issues, on Monday.

The office’s Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs, which penned the entry on Germany, said it had not intended to trivialize the genocide.

In a letter to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center had criticized the department’s information on Germany for minimizing the role the country played in the murder of six million Jews in the Holocaust, the Jewish human rights organization said in a statement.

The controversial account appears on the “Background Notes” section of the State Department’s Web site. It is dated July 2007.

“Holocaust” goes unmentioned

Skeletal inmates in a barrack at Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: The account doesn’t use the term “concentration camp”

The only mention of the Holocaust reads: “The Nazis implemented a program of genocide, at first through incarceration and forced labor and then by establishing death camps.” Neither the terms “Holocaust” nor “concentration camp” appear in the text.

Hier pointed out that Jews were not identified as the principal victims of the genocide or that eliminating Europe’s Jews was a Nazi policy. He said the entry was “most offensive” in comparison to “Background Notes” on other countries where genocides were committed, such as Cambodia, Rwanda, Sudan and Russia under Stalin. Those entries went into greater detail, including providing numbers of victims.

The rabbi said it seemed that the department didn’t want to hurt Germany’s feelings, according to the Associated Press.