Skip to comments.In Letter to Polish President, President Obama Expresses Regret Over Term "Polish Death Camp"
Posted on 06/01/2012 10:48:39 AM PDT by kristinn
President Obama wrote a letter to the president of Poland in which he expressed regret for his words during the Medal of Freedom ceremony in which he referred to World War II-era Polish death camp instead of a Nazi death camp in Germany-occupied Poland.
In referring to a Polish death camp rather than a Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland, I inadvertently used a phrase that has caused many Poles anguish over the years and that Poland has rightly campaigned to eliminate from public discourse around the world, President Obama wrote. I regret the error and agree that this moment is an opportunity to ensure that this and future generations know the truth.
President Komorowski received permission from the White House to post the entire letter on his website. http://www.president.pl/en/news/news/art,309,president-on-barack-obamas-letter.html
(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...
US President Barack Obama in a letter to Polish President Bronisław Komorowski wrote he had inadvertently used the phrase "Polish death camp" in his recent speech and expressed regret over the mistake.
President Bronisław Komorowski said on Friday that President Barack Obama's letter may be an important element of the struggle for historical truth. Thanks to the letter Poland has gained an important ally in its battle against wrongful qualifications, the president said.
"The events of the past few days and the US President's reply may, in my opinion, signify a very important moment in the struggle for historical truth," president Komorowski told a press conference. "With this letter Poland has gained an important ally in its battle against the misleading, wrongful and painful term 'Polish death camps'" the Polish president said.
"I am convinced that Polish state authorities and institutions, with special emphasis on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be able to take adequate stock of the US President's declaration in their further (...) struggle for the eradication of confusing, painful and untrue qualifications found in public language outside Poland," the President declared.
The following is the text of President Barack Obama's letter to President Bronisław Komorowski:
Thank you for your letter of May 30. I was proud to honor Jan Karski with the Medal of Freedom, our nations's highest civilian honor. My decision to do so was a reflection of the high esteem in which the American people hold not only a great Polish patriot, but the extraordinary sacrifices of the Polish people during the Nazi occupation of the Second World War.
In referring to "a Polish death camp" rather than " a Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland," I inadvertently used the phrase that has caused many Poles anguish over the years and that Poland has rightly campaigned to eliminate from public discourse around the world. I regret the error and agree that this moment is an opportunity to ensure that this and future generations know the truth.
A we all know, the Polish people suffered terribly under the brutal Nazi occupation during World War II. In pursuit of their goals of destroying the Polish nation and Polish culture and exterminating European Jewry, the Nazis killed some six million Polish citizens, including three million Polish Jews during the Holocaust. The bravery of Poles in the underground resistance is one of history's great stories of heroism and courage.
Moreover, there simply were no "Polish death camps." The killing centers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belzec, Treblinka, and elsewhere in occupied Poland were built and operated by the Nazi regime. In contrast, many Poles risked their lives - and gave their lives - to save Jews from the Holocaust.
That is why I paid tribute to Polish victims of the Holocaust during my visit to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in April. It is why I was honored to pay my respect at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier and the Monument to the Heroes of the Ghetto during my visit to Warsaw last year. An it is why, during the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau in 201, I commended the government and people of Poland for preserving a place of such pain in order to promote remembrance and learning for the world.
I know well the bonds of friendship between our two countries. I was proud to welcome you to the NATO Summit in my home town of Chicago, which is home to the largest Polish community in the world outside Warsaw. As President, I have worked with you to strengthen the enduring ties between our nations so that our alliance is stronger than it has ever been.
Poland is one of America's strongest and closest allies. We stand united in facing the challenges of the 21st century in Europe and around the world, and I am confident that, working together, we can ensure that the unbreakable bonds of friendship and solidarity between us will only grow stronger in the days and years ahead. (PAP/ own information)
Obama is too proud to say simply that he is sorry.
Obama - stupidier then a fifth grader...
Obama is awful, but he did this one right, once he made his mistake.
How did he find the time to write this letter?
It’s a decent letter, but I noticed no “I apologize” or “I’m sorry” anywhere in it.
Not part of his vocabulary. It’s a really stupid thing he did, and probably even stupider not to just put “I apologize” in the letter, because honestly the letter is not terrible, and that would have capped it off.
Meanwhile, he’s banned from the White House Lech Walesa, former Polish President, Peace Prize recipient (who actually put his life on the line to earn the prize). who was to have accepted the medal on behalf of Karski. He was banned for being “too political.”
As opposed to John Paul Stevens, the most reliable liberal vote on SCOTUS for decades; and Dolores Huerta, as despicable a marxist as ever existed.
Nothing but class oozing from the People’s White House.
Will all the jobless people now they are going to have to compete with out of work teleprompters.
Apparently in diplospeak “regret” means “I’m sorry if you were offended” whereas “apologize” means “I’m sorry - I was wrong”.
This smacks of a non-apology which is entirely within character.
I guess Poland will accept this, but it still doesn’t sound like a real apology to me.
“. . .regret the error and agree that this moment is an opportunity to ensure that this and future generations know the truth . . .
The kenyan is the one who does not know the truth, yet he shrugs it off on the rest of us.
When is he going to write a letter to the American people expressing regret over the continual use of the phrase “President Barack Obama”???
He’s at the Chicago Death Camp latter today. -Wb
“This is a very rare act of contriteness from Obama.
Obama is awful, but he did this one right, once he made his mistake.”
Read the letter again. where he says
“,” I inadvertently used the phrase that has caused many Poles anguish over the years and that Poland has rightly campaigned to eliminate from public discourse around the world”
he never said he was wrong to call them Polish death Camps. he makes it seem as though he was correct and everyone knew it but since Poles tried to eliminate the phrase perhaps he ( 0dumbo) should not have sued the phrase
that is NO apology and in fact is a further slap in their face
Barack Obama isn’t to blame, he attended a little Red schoolhouse all his life. Can he he’p it if his history lessons were tainted by Communist revisionist history?
That ain’t no apology, the only thing 0bama is sorry about is that he may have alienated the Polish voting bloc in the upcoming general election ASSUMING we even have an election.
I still haven’t ruled that out from the Kenyan Mugabe.
I sincerely appologize if any Pollocks were offended by my remarks.
For a person with his supposed education and enablers the remark should never have been made. I tend to believe anything this man says including an apology is double/multiple speak. You can take him by his words but you had better be extremely skeptical of his sincerity.
Being originally from Chicago, I was waiting for some mention of Chicago having an enormous Polish population, and eventually it came-—remember that O’s national election HQ IS Chicago, and his main man installed there to ensure all the predictable Democrat political structures remain unaltered, is his former Chief of Staff, Rahm, now MAYOR EMANUEL. So I am not surprised at this “act of contrition”, not at all.
He is a moron and doesn’t care. He won.
No actually he’s still doubling down,but this time
he’s doubling down on desperation.
Obama is awful, but he did this one right, once he made this mistake.
Not easy to go against the general run of opinion here. I had gone to old friend Wikipedia on the subject of such a designation. It does seem that the term "Polish concentration camps" was in use far too many times. This was by persons not connected with the president.
Moves were already made to inform persons well before the president made this reference. Spokespersons with authority had already tried to educate people about this term and the grief it caused Poland. We learn that the award given to persons who risked their lives to save Jews, is the highest given to citizens of Poland. This being over 6000 awards.
I know that the President of the United States has caused much apprehension about just who he is. I have read "Dreams From My Father" and do feel some disquiet. Just that I feel that he has slipped up somewhat. I truly believe that it was just a slip. I hope that a "Quayle moment" is not to be visited on the president.
Oh well, back to the birther threads (chuckle).
Now that Obama's returned prosperity to the US economy and ushered in a new era of democracy in the Middle East, he has more time on his hands. And you can only play so much golf in a day. What else is he supposed to do while he waits hopelessly for Congress to "do something" so that Americans can buy more thingamajigs?
True, but it does help that I am a battle-tested grizzled FR veteran.
As far as what truly motivates Obama, the disquiet you felt upon reading Dreams of My Father are best explored by reading Dinesh D'Sousa's essays.
Dinesh is perhaps the best analyst of Obama I have ever read.
...What then is Obama's dream? We don't have to speculate because the President tells us himself in his autobiography, Dreams from My Father. According to Obama, his dream is his father's dream. Notice that his title is not Dreams of My Father but rather Dreams from My Father. Obama isn't writing about his father's dreams; he is writing about the dreams he received from his father.
and then it continues:
So who was Barack Obama Sr.?
So that's where I stopped reading, because NOTHING so far has convinced me his father was the coal-black native from Keyna. It should read:
So who was Barry Little, aka Malcolm X and El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz.
who said he really wrote it? -
Careful reading of these two links is my due requirement. One has to be very wary of what is within the now president. It might be said by his defenders, that all great men can rise above what once they had been.
My remark was after reading "Dreams From My Father" was - "They have got him!"
Your English is a little awkward, yet you seem, by your profile, to be an Englishman. Are you an immigrant?
Born Islington, London, England. Army child (eight different schools),until 14 years of age. Immigrant to Canada 1955. Canadian citizen.
Can see the United States from on top of the hill where I live. Always visit- unique place which is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Ok. This post of yours has less awkwardness in the use of the English language. Your previous post to me, however, had me wondering.