The Polish embassy in Berlin has said it will examine German textbooks for historically inaccurate terms suggesting a Polish role in the Nazi German genocide during World War II.
The initiative follows reports that a German history textbook contains a misleading reference to “Polish” camps, when referring to wartime German Nazi concentration and death camps in occupied Poland.
Polish diplomats have responded by posting a video on Twitter entitled “Words Matter – German Nazi Camps” and aiming to tell the “truth about German Nazi camps.”
A narrator on the video says: “These camps were established and operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland. Words matter.”
The narrator on the film adds: “Using misleading language obscures the tragedy of millions of Holocaust victims. It’s not just semantics. It’s a matter of historical integrity and accuracy. Words matter. Remember to use the correct terms. German Nazi camps.”
A nongovernmental organization called the Polish League Against Defamation has also announced steps to stamp out the use of terms suggesting Polish responsibility for German Nazi crimes.
The use of the term “Polish concentration camp” by international media outlets has sparked numerous complaints from Poland in recent years, prompting some news agencies to change their style guidelines.
In 2007, following a Polish request, the World Heritage Committee attempted to clarify the matter by listing the Auschwitz camp as a “German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp”. (str/pk)