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    Polish Embassies Defending Historical Accuracy: German-Operated Camps in Occupied Poland

    Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

    In a recent article published on the German portal HNA, author Thomas Kopietz referred to Holocaust survivor Thomas Buergenthal’s childhood spent in “Polish ghettos and concentration camps Sachsenhausen and Auschwitz.” Reacting strongly, Polish Ambassador Dariusz Pawłoś criticized the use of the term, clarifying that these were not Polish camps, but rather German ghettos and extermination camps located in occupied Poland.


    The Polish Embassy spokesperson, Magdalena Szuber-Zasacka, confirmed that they will address this matter with HNA’s editorial team. Previously, the Polish Consulate General in Hamburg successfully intervened in a similar case. They objected to the mention of a “Polish ghetto” in an obituary for Thomas Buergenthal published on a website in Göttingen. After the consulate’s intervention, the revised text accurately referred to ghettos “established by the Germans.”

    German Publication’s Inaccurate Terminology

    In late June, the Polish Consulate General in Hamburg also intervened with the German newspaper “Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung” (HAZ) regarding an article that used the phrase “Polish concentration camps.” Following their intervention, the newspaper corrected the text.

    These instances underline the importance of using precise and historically accurate terminology when discussing the Holocaust and its tragic events. Poland, as a nation deeply affected by the atrocities, emphasizes the need for clear distinctions between the perpetrators, who were German, and the locations, which were under German occupation.

    It is essential to remember that the term “Polish camps” or “Polish ghettos” inaccurately shifts responsibility and can perpetuate misconceptions about Poland’s role during the Holocaust.

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