The “Polish Death Camps” Uproar: Unwarranted Outrage When a Simple Correction Would Have Sufficed
By Menachem Rosensaft, vice president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants.
Any objective observers reading the Polish prime minister’s and foreign minister’s overreactions to an innocent phraseological error — and that is all it was — by President Obama could only have been left scratching their heads in amazement. Prime Minister Donald Tusk charged that the President had perpetrated a “distortion of history” as a result of “ignorance, lack of knowledge, bad intentions.” Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski said that the President was guilty of “ignorance and incompetence.”
The cause for this public display of indignation? A slip-up by President Obama when, in posthumously awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a heroic member of the Polish anti-German underground during World War II, he referred to “a Polish death camp” rather than to a German death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.