During an East Room ceremony honoring 13 Medal of Freedom recipients, President Obama said that Karski …
“served as a courier for the Polish resistance during the darkest days of World War II. Before one trip across enemy lines, resistance fighters told him that Jews were being murdered on a massive scale and smuggled him into the Warsaw Ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself. Jan took that information to President Franklin Roosevelt, giving one of the first accounts of the Holocaust and imploring to the world to take action.”
You need to take the time to educate yourself about the things you speak. It can’t always be done to the understanding you need, but at least try. And, maybe get a little grip on the history. The Poles had a very hard time of it in WWII and it’s aftermath. They got it from both sides. Obviously, they would still be sensitive to such language.
Here’s some reactions……..
Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted that the White House would apologize for “this outrageous error” and that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk would address the matter on Wednesday.
“It’s a pity that such a dignified ceremony was overshadowed by ignorance and incompetence.”
Alex Storozynski, president of the Kosciuszko Foundation, said Obama’s comment “shocked the Poles present at the White House and those watching on C-SPAN. … Karski would have cringed if he heard this.”
National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said: “The president misspoke. He was referring to Nazi death camps in Poland. We regret this misstatement, which should not detract from the clear intention to honor Mr. Karski and those brave citizens who stood on the side of human dignity in the face of tyranny.”
It’s too tricky to actually ask or seek advice on such things.
The Polish Embassy in Washington, on its website, has a “how-to guide” on concentration camps that states that references to Polish death camps are “factually incorrect slurs” that should be corrected.
Winning friends and influencing people! Is there no competent person on the staff of team Obama?
Read more: here.