President Obama Should Sign the Petition To Ban the Phrase “Polish Death Camps”
Two years ago I posted a petition on the Kosciuszko Foundation web site asking media outlets to stop using the phrase “Polish Concentration Camps.” Many prominent people, such as the Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski, Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa, Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich, members of the United States Congress, historians, Holocaust survivors, and more than 300,000 people signed the petition.
When I asked him two years ago, President Obama’s Ambassador to Poland, Lee Feinstein, said that as a government official he could not sign it. President Bush’s outgoing Ambassador to Poland, Victor Ashe signed it without any problem.
Since then, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and other media outlets have changed their stylebooks to ban the use of this phrase. Yesterday, President Obama marred the ceremony presenting the President Medal of Freedom to World War II hero Jan Karski by saying that Karski went to a “Polish death camp.”
So far, the National Security Administration spokesman has issued a lukewarm statement saying that the President “misspoke.”
President Obama should truly acknowledge his mistake and sign the petition. Ambassador Feinstein should sign it as well.
President & Executive Director
The Kosciuszko Foundation