Menu JTA Search

On the term ‘Polish death camps’

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

To the Editor:

Re your Archive blog post about Obama: History should be based on the facts, not conclusions. The term "Polish death camps" didn’t come out of nowhere but was popularized by former Nazi Alfred Benzinger in 1956. Through his special "Agency 114," Benzinger invented a plan to introduce the expression "Polish death camps" into the public discourse in order to shift some of the responsibility from Germans.

At the time, Poland didn’t react because it was under occupation and communists didn’t care about that kind of thing. What’s worse, Poland later decided to support the Germans and started to claim that Poles killed Soviets soldiers.

The Germans obviously were the first to start using the expression Polish death camps, but right after them were the Americans. Why? Perhaps because they are largely ignorant or historically uneducated, especially in matters of European history and World War II?

Moreover, we shouldn’t compare information in newspapers to the words of the world’s leading politician.

Klaudia Klimek
Krakow, Poland
(The author is the founding editor and CEO of Jewrnalism.org.)
 

NEXT STORY