Poland seeks name change for Auschwitz

Poland wants to change the official name of the Auschwitz death camp on the U.N.’s world heritage directory to emphasize that it was run by German Nazis, not Poles, an official said Thursday.

The government requested that UNESCO, the U.N.’s educational and cultural body, change the name from “Auschwitz Concentration Camp” to “Former Nazi German Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau,” Culture Ministry spokesman Jan Kasprzyk said.

Polish officials have complained in the past that foreign media sometimes refer to Auschwitz — a death camp located in occupied Poland where Nazi Germans killed 1.5 million people during World War II — as a “Polish concentration camp.”

That phrasing deeply offends sensitivities in Poland, which was subjected to a brutal occupation by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi forces.

Folks, it is true; Auschwitz-Birkenau and the other death camps, including Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka, were conceived, built and operated by Nazi Germany and its allies. But it would be unforgiveable to not mention that in September of 1939, there were 3,3oo,ooo Jews in Poland. By the end of the war, 2,800,000 of those Jews were murdered. That comes out to an astonishing 85% murder ratio. Shocking still, 60 years later.

Israeli President Moshe Katsav warned, in January 2005, of the dangers of resurgent anti-Semitism in Europe:

We must be ever watchful that people remember lest the water running in Europe’s rivers carries in it the blood of the Shoah dead.”

Emanuel A. Winston confirms the same sentiment:

The perpetrators are well known. Germany may have opened the portals of Hell but, all of Europe rushed through to enthusiastically partake of the savagery.

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