Polish League Against Defamation issues a notice and a warning in connection with the upcoming anniversary of the Red Army entering Auschwitz:
In the past, anniversary articles appallingly frequently used the phrases “Polish death camp Auschwitz” or “Polish concentration camp Auschwitz”.
The phrase “Polish death camp” is an example of hate speech using the Holocaust denial against the Poles because of racial and national prejudice.
The death camp in Auschwitz was established in 1940 by Germany within the territory of Poland that was occupied by the Third Reich at the time, in the wake of the German invasion of Poland in September 1939. Initially, the camp was intended to exterminate Polish intelligentsia. Afterwards, Auschwitz became the venue of mass extermination of Jews.
Since September 1939 the Polish government was in exile – first in France, later in the United Kingdom, and it had no jurisdiction on the territory under the German occupation. According to the Hague Convention, the liability for the events taking place within the occupied territory lies with the occupant. The 1939-1945 genocide of Poles, Jews, Roma people and other nations in concentration and death camps located within the territory of Poland occupied by Germany was effected in the atmosphere of indifference on the side of the anti-Nazi Allied Forces. Polish authorities notified the world many times about the genocide committed by the Germans.
Poland had the most extensive resistance movement – both military and civil – out of all countries in the Europe occupied by the Germans. The authorities of the Polish underground state organisation issued and carried out death sentences imposed on anyone who tried to join in the German campaign to persecute Jews.
Within the occupied Polish territory, the Germans introduced a death penalty for assisting Jews – for hiding them and supporting them in any way. The penalty was imposed on entire families – adults and children. Despite that fact, Poles did help their Jewish compatriots. Thousands of Poles were killed by the Germans for helping Jews. German concentration and death camps located within Polish territory, including Auschwitz, were German institutions, with German state personnel, completing German economic and political tasks.
This is why the Polish League Against Defamation would like to remind you on the occasion of the anniversary of the Red Army entering Auschwitz that the proper name of the Auschwitz camp is “German Nazi death camp Auschwitz”. The designation “German Nazi concentration/death camp” also pertains to the other camps established by the Germans within the territory of occupied Poland.
There were no “Polish concentration camps”. Next to Jews, Polish people were also victims of the genocide committed by the Germans. As a consequence of the war waged by the Germans, Poland lost almost 20% of its pre-war population. The designation “Polish concentration camps” is an “Auschwitz lie” – it leads people to believe that it were not the Germans who caused the Holocaust.
The Polish League Against Defamation would like to warn that it will sue the editors and journalists who will use the phrase “Polish death camp”, “Polish concentration camp”, or other similar phrases.
President of the Polish League Against Defamation