References To Nazi German Death Camps in Occupied Poland By Western Media
The expressions offensive to Poles are attributed to a number of non-Polish media in relation to World War II. The most prominent is a continued reference by Western news media to "Polish death camps" and "Polish concentration camps". These phrases refer to the network of concentration camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland in order to facilitate the "Final Solution", but the wording suggests that the Polish people might have been involved.
The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as Polish organizations around the world and all Polish governments since 1989, condemned the usage of such expressions, arguing that they suggest Polish responsibility for the camps. The American Jewish Committee stated in its January 30, 2005, press release: "This is not a mere semantic matter. Historical integrity and accuracy hang in the balance.... Any misrepresentation of Poland's role in the Second World War, whether intentional or accidental, would be most regrettable and therefore should not be left unchallenged."
On April 30, 2004, a CTV News report made reference to "the Polish camp in Treblinka". The Polish embassy in Canada lodged a complaint with CTV. Robert Hurst of CTV, however, argued that the expression, "Polish death camp", is common usage in news organizations including those in the United States, and declined to issue a correction. The Polish Ambassador to Ottawa then complained to the National Specialty Services Panel of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. The Council did not accept Hurst's argument and ruled against CTV stating that the word ""Polish"—similarly to such adjectives as "English", "French" and "German"—had connotations that clearly extended beyond geographic context. Its use with reference to Nazi extermination camps was misleading and improper". CTV broadcast the decision during prime time. The Polish Ministry of Foreign affairs has stated. "That example of a successful campaign against the distortion of historic truth by the media – and in defense of the good name of Poland – will hopefully reduce the number of similar incidents in the future."
Also cited as a similar example of anti-Polish sentiment is the phrase "Polish Nazis" used in relation to non-Polish paramilitary groups operating on Polish soil during World War II, disseminated by Norwegian State Broadcasting Corporation, NRK. The Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem officially considered this claim by NRK a falsification "offensive to historical truth".
Read more about this topic: Anti-Polish Sentiment
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