Good news: Obama alienates Poland by referring to “Polish death camps”

posted at 9:05 pm on May 29, 2012 by Allahpundit

Hey, it’s not like they’re a close ally and a keystone of our eastern European policy. The only person angrier than the Poles tonight, incidentally: Ed Morrissey, who’s being deprived of a golden Obamateurism item for tomorrow morning. Sorry, buddy!

The bad news? This isn’t the only dumb, offensive thing that a prominent Democrat has said about Poland this week. The worse news? When I say he’s alienated Poland, I don’t mean he’s alienated a few bloggers in Warsaw or the editorial page of some partisan newspaper. The outrage goes to the very top:

“The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,” Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted. Sikorski said that Polish Prime Minister Donald “Tusk will make a statement in the morning. It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.”…

“A Polish death camp” — Sikorski also tonight tweeted a link to an Economist story noting that “few things annoy Poles more than being blamed for the crimes committed by the Nazi occupiers of their homeland. For many years, Polish media, diplomats and politicians have tried to persuade outsiders to stop using the phrase ‘Polish death camps’ as a shorthand description of Auschwitz and other exemplars of Nazi brutality and mass murder. Unfortunately this seems to have escaped BaracK Obama’s staff seem not to have noticed this.”…

Alex Storozynski, the President of the Kosciuszko Foundation, lauded the president earlier in the day for recognizing Karski, but now says “Karski would have cringed if he heard this….So far, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press and others have changed their stylebooks to ban the use of this phrase. Now, the Obama White House must do the same. President Obama’s remarks are already being called ‘scandalous’ by media outlets in Poland. Obama was seen reading this phrase off a teleprompter. The President must acknowledge his mistake and apologize for it. He must do it for Karski and the other Poles that risked their lives trying to stop the Holocaust.”

BuzzFeed has a round-up of Polish Twitter reaction, and it ain’t pretty. Here comes White House spokesman Tommy Vietor a-grovelin’:

National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor tells BuzzFeed: “The President was referring to Nazi death camps operated in Poland. The President has demonstrated in word and deed his rock-solid commitment to our close alliance with Poland.”

In a second comment, 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.”

The fact that Vietor felt obliged to issue a second, more apologetic statement shows you how badly the White House was caught off-guard by the fury of the backlah. I’d bet cash money that both Tusk and Sikorski have personal phone calls from the Unicorn Prince coming in the near future, assuming they haven’t happened already.

In fairness to O, I’m sure he didn’t mean to imply anything about Polish culpability for the Holocaust at a moment when he was honoring a Polish hero for helping to expose the Holocaust. But since that wouldn’t have stopped a collective liberal pants-wetting if Bush had made the same gaffe, we must press boldly on and rub The One’s face in this. Go nuts.


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To paraphrase Instapundit, “Carter is now a best-case scenario.”

RedNewEnglander on May 29, 2012 at 10:49 PM

You ain’t paraphrasin’ nothin’. That’s exactly what he says.

Lanceman on May 29, 2012 at 10:51 PM

DBear cant get past the fact that France has never had OUR interests at heart!..Even as early as the Revolutionary war, They were not fighting for us, They were fighting against Britain..The lame excuse he uses against the Iraq War is, like everything else Frenchman say to be taken with a grain of salt!…If we invaded Iraq for oil, then why was there never endless tankers on parade to unload our loot and treasure into our American coffers.Tell us all how we profited one dime?

Bluestate_Blues on May 29, 2012 at 10:52 PM

Obama keeps insulting, alienating, & helping the enemies of our allies while trying to convince us that Libya is in better hands under al-qaida-backed rebels, it is in our nation’s best interest that the Muslim Brotherhood rule egypt, & that it was in our best interest to strike down the Palestinian Accountability Act, freeing up $192 million in tax payer dollars for the Palestinian Authority & their terrorist buddies, HAMAS! this President is a walking economic disaster, a Constitutional violation personified, our allies’ worst nightmare, a complete embarrassment, & the worst President EVER!

(I am sure Eastern europe / NATO wasn’t excited about telling Russia’s puppet-president ‘off microphone’ to reassure Putin that he will have more flexibility to get rid of the missile defense systems / missiles (toi throw them under the bus to gain favor with Putin) after he gets elected, as well!)

easyt65 on May 29, 2012 at 10:57 PM

in my last name there is a CZ that throws everyone and their mother off. like, complete brainfreeze time. i’m angry too over this insult. how the left can be proud of this idiot just baffles me like nothing else.

GhoulAid on May 29, 2012 at 10:37 PM

Yeah, I went through college with somebody with that CZ affliction. I can relate to a certain degree because I have a surname that should be fairly straightforward but if you leave it to chance you end up with an extra T and E in the final spelling.

For me as a WASP American, the anger isn’t over the insult itself even though it was offensive. Both sides of my family were firmly established in this country in the 19th century. It is over the complete ignorance that the POTUS would refer to “Polish death camps.” What’s next going to the NAACP convention and saying that you’d like to lynch your opponent?

Happy Nomad on May 29, 2012 at 10:57 PM

Smart Power strikes again! Why is Carter looking so much better by the day?

Kenz on May 29, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Because Carter was a well-meaning idiot who truly had the best interests of this nation at the heart of his misguided policies. With Obama it is all about getting a second term.

Happy Nomad on May 29, 2012 at 11:00 PM

To paraphrase Instapundit, “Carter is now a best-case scenario.”

RedNewEnglander on May 29, 2012 at 10:49 PM

Obama has finally become a nasty combination of Jimmy Carter-style fumbling/bumbling and Howard Dean-style mental derangement.

Lord knows how much he’ll melt down before November 6. Obama’s approached Fukushima levels, and is on a trajectory to Chernobyl levels.

Myron Falwell on May 29, 2012 at 11:00 PM

The ‘O’ is a SCOAMF.

ChuckTX on May 29, 2012 at 11:03 PM

There is not one good component of this “Composite President”

Reality Checker on May 29, 2012 at 11:06 PM

NAZI death camps is not the correct name either.

It is National SOCIALISTS death camps

Death camps are always the end point of socialism. Period. Let’s not forget that

huntingmoose on May 29, 2012 at 11:06 PM

What’s next for the smartest man in the room? Addressing the Jewish Intifada?

Christien on May 29, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Inquistioning minds want to know!

Laura in Maryland on May 29, 2012 at 11:08 PM

These were isolated incidents of Anti-Semitism, for sure, in a nation with some people in it that had that issue for some time, but this was not SYSTEMATIC FINAL SOLUTION stuff like what the German Nazis did by any means and these camps were built and run by Germans, not Poles. This also discounts the fact that many Poles fought hard and bravely against Nazism during the war.

What you are saying is akin to making all Americans and even all Southerners guilty of being slave owners. It’s unfair and simply untrue.

Corporal Tunnel on May 29, 2012 at 10:39 PM

I don’t know that I’d say Polish Antisemitism was in any way, shape, or form “isolated.” Hitler could not have systematically murdered THREE MILLION of their Jewish neighbors, friends, and colleagues without the silent complicity of bystanders. In Edmund Burke’s famous words: all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. And in the case of the Holocaust far too many did nothing. There were certainly many Polish Heroes who saved precious lives. But they were sadly the exception, rather than the rule.

repjew on May 29, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Poland population in 1939 was 12 million between Poles and Jews. Poland population after World 2 was 6 million. Rough estimates that Germany wiped 3 million Jews and 3 million Poles out in 6 years.
Like the Black Death in England in the 1300.
Obama, that one that screws over allies alot.

Gracelynn on May 29, 2012 at 11:09 PM

in my last name there is a CZ that throws everyone and their mother off. like, complete brainfreeze time. i’m angry too over this insult. how the left can be proud of this idiot just baffles me like nothing else.

GhoulAid on May 29, 2012 at 10:37 PM

My grandmother’s maiden name had a CZ in it. As a result, I learned very early how to correctly pronounce that particular combination. It’s very much like English “ch”. Later on, I would say the names “Tomczak” (the quarterback) and “Kaczynski” (the unibomber) in a way different from everybody else.

Bigfoot on May 29, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Just one more in a long line of SNAFU’s that his speech writers have made in the last 3+ years.

Math is hard, science is harder and apparently research is the hardest of all for them.

chemman on May 29, 2012 at 11:11 PM

We all talk about these stupid and obvious gaffes this lightweight makes, But you know the press will never be as critical of him as we here are!…I implore you to make sure that you and everyone who cares about this Country take an extra hour out of their lives to vote this Nov.!..Don’t let up, NEVER LET UP!

Bluestate_Blues on May 29, 2012 at 11:11 PM

Smart Power strikes again! Why is Carter looking so much better by the day?

Kenz on May 29, 2012 at 10:48 PM

To paraphrase Instapundit, “Carter is now a best-case scenario.”

RedNewEnglander on May 29, 2012 at 10:49 PM

I tell my kids, “you don’t know bad Carter was, and this guy’s worse.”

That’s pretty bad.

ironbill on May 29, 2012 at 11:12 PM

I wouldn’t be so fast to forgive the Obama White House. Anti-Polish feeling runs very high among my coreligionists, for whom, rightly or wrongly, Poland is seen as a country of implacable anti-Semitism. It wouldn’t surprise me if a young Jewish staffer felt comfortable writing that phrase.

bobs1196 on May 29, 2012 at 9:58 PM

This has nothing to do with who built or ran the Nazi death camps, which, for whatever reason, were all in Poland. This furthermore has nothing to do with the extent of Polish complicity in the Holocaust, or the causes and goals of Polish resistance vis-a-vis the Jews.

The issue here is simple: Obama has all the time in the world to tweak his language and pronunciation for friendly nations like Pauk-ee-stahn, but can’t quite seem to nail it when Europeans are involved (unless they’re red Russians, of course). That’s the problem here; his blatant disdain towards traditional, pro-American allies and oozing, bowing gratitude towards our adversaries.

(Editor’s note: the “cuatro de mayo” thingy was a result of stupidity. His accent was dead-on for his LaRaza buds).

ChicagoJewishGuy on May 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM

It would not surprise me if Obama is/was a Katyn Massacre denier either… an event that is STILL, tragically, not well known outside of Poland.

I encourage you all to read this excerpt from Jean-François Revel’s Last Exit to Utopia:

http://exlibris.fromthemaas.com/?p=344

Glenn Jericho on May 29, 2012 at 11:16 PM

…what the heck is everybody upset about?…wasn’t his dad, grandpa or uncle the first one… to free peoples from those camps as he recalls to his recollection?/

KOOLAID2 on May 29, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Poland population in 1939 was 12 million.
Poland population after World II was 6 million.

Gracelynn on May 29, 2012 at 11:09 PM

This is exactly why Obama’s insult is a big deal. The Poles didn’t cause a 50% reduction in their population.

Happy Nomad on May 29, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Poland population in 1939 was 12 million between Poles and Jews. Poland population after World 2 was 6 million. Rough estimates that Germany wiped 3 million Jews and 3 million Poles out in 6 years.
Like the Black Death in England in the 1300.
Obama, that one that screws over allies alot.

Hitler certainly demonstrated his hatred of the Polish people by turning downtown Warsaw into the Jewish Ghetto (he never did that in occupied “Aryan” countries like France). However, while nearly all 3 Million Jews were systematically murdered, the other 3 Million non-Jewish Poles who were killed represented approximately 10 % of the total population. You simply cannot equate the two.

repjew on May 29, 2012 at 11:18 PM

I don’t know that I’d say Polish Antisemitism was in any way, shape, or form “isolated.” Hitler could not have systematically murdered THREE MILLION of their Jewish neighbors, friends, and colleagues without the silent complicity of bystanders. In Edmund Burke’s famous words: all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. And in the case of the Holocaust far too many did nothing. There were certainly many Polish Heroes who saved precious lives. But they were sadly the exception, rather than the rule.

repjew on May 29, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Slavery wasn’t ‘isolated’ in the American South, either. That doesn’t mean that all southerners are guilty of it. I think you place too much emphasis on ‘doing something’ when we’re dealing with a population that was invaded, occupied and subjugated by the World’s largest army at that time. Hitler’s army completely disarmed the Poles and subjected Polish Males to grueling scrutiny. It’s not like the population had a choice against a superior force who had no qualms about using it’s Wehrmacht or Einsatzgruppen to silence dissent with indiscriminate executions. Please read some history. When a man is having an impossible time trying to survive on his own and keeping his own family alive, he has little means to do anything about others that are being systematically slaughtered. The Nazi war machine was efficient, unforgiving and purely evil. You discount way too much. Edmund Burke’s comment has no context in this situation.

Corporal Tunnel on May 29, 2012 at 11:20 PM

in my last name there is a CZ that throws everyone and their mother off. like, complete brainfreeze time. i’m angry too over this insult. how the left can be proud of this idiot just baffles me like nothing else.

GhoulAid on May 29, 2012 at 10:37 PM

My grandmother’s maiden name had a CZ in it. As a result, I learned very early how to correctly pronounce that particular combination. It’s very much like English “ch”. Later on, I would say the names “Tomczak” (the quarterback) and “Kaczynski” (the unibomber) in a way different from everybody else.

Bigfoot on May 29, 2012 at 11:09 PM

CZ’s are easy, the PRZ’s are tougher.

slickwillie2001 on May 29, 2012 at 11:20 PM

This is the “genius”, the “smartest ever to be elected president”?

Read this and weep at the charlatanry, in at least 3 ways, on any topic.

Schadenfreude on May 29, 2012 at 11:20 PM

ChicagoJewishGuy on May 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Even Israeli officials condemn the use of the term “Polish Death Camps”

Corporal Tunnel on May 29, 2012 at 11:21 PM

…what the heck is everybody upset about?…wasn’t his dad, grandpa or uncle the first one… to free peoples from those camps as he recalls to his recollection?/

KOOLAID2 on May 29, 2012 at 11:17 PM

I know you are trying to be snarky. And yes that is part of one of his two autobiographies. But I don’t think you realize what a bad bad thing it is when he referred to Polish death camps. The whole Halocaust thing aside, the German’s justification for doing so is that the Poles wanted them to do so. Polish death camps.

Are you beginning to get a clue why the Poles are so upset?

Happy Nomad on May 29, 2012 at 11:23 PM

WE all know how OBAMA feels about Britain, One of our greatest allies for over 60 years.The first thing he does is return a bust of Churchill!..What does that tell you about the man sitting in the Oval Office?..It tells me he has to be removed.

Bluestate_Blues on May 29, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Poland population in 1939 was 12 million.
Poland population after World II was 6 million.

Gracelynn on May 29, 2012 at 11:09 PM

This is exactly why Obama’s insult is a big deal. The Poles didn’t cause a 50% reduction in their population.

Those figures are completely wrong. Poland had more than 30 Million people in 1939 and saw nearly 3 million non-Jewish Poles killed in addition to the 3 million Jews who were murdered.

repjew on May 29, 2012 at 11:24 PM

It would not surprise me if Obama is/was a Katyn Massacre denier either… an event that is STILL, tragically, not well known outside of Poland.

I encourage you all to read this excerpt from Jean-François Revel’s Last Exit to Utopia:

http://exlibris.fromthemaas.com/?p=344

Glenn Jericho on May 29, 2012 at 11:16 PM

Thank you for the link. I just recently learned about the Katyn Massacre after I immigrated to the U.S. from Eastern Europe.

JPeterman on May 29, 2012 at 11:28 PM

Just when I thought we could never top incredible slap in the face to our Polish allies by pushing Al Gore’s nobel over a true heroine and inspiration, O pulls that stunt.

Laura in Maryland on May 29, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Slavery wasn’t ‘isolated’ in the American South, either. That doesn’t mean that all southerners are guilty of it. I think you place too much emphasis on ‘doing something’ when we’re dealing with a population that was invaded, occupied and subjugated by the World’s largest army at that time. Hitler’s army completely disarmed the Poles and subjected Polish Males to grueling scrutiny. It’s not like the population had a choice against a superior force who had no qualms about using it’s Wehrmacht or Einsatzgruppen to silence dissent with indiscriminate executions. Please read some history. When a man is having an impossible time trying to survive on his own and keeping his own family alive, he has little means to do anything about others that are being systematically slaughtered. The Nazi war machine was efficient, unforgiving and purely evil. You discount way too much. Edmund Burke’s comment has no context in this situation.

I’ve studied under one of the preeminent scholars in Holocaust Studies. The question of Polish complicity in the Holocaust is a VERY controversial topic, and there are certainly arguments that somewhat excuse the fact that the survival rate of Jews in Poland was so low. However, Poles were not systematically slaughtered in an attempt to exterminate their “race.” If you look at Nazi records they meticulously counted every Jewish man, woman, and child they murdered, while they did no such thing for Polish people who were killed. They hated the Poles, but they did not seek their extermination.

repjew on May 29, 2012 at 11:30 PM

CZ’s are easy, the PRZ’s are tougher.

slickwillie2001 on May 29, 2012 at 11:20 PM

Try saying the word pleasure several time, emphasizing the zh sound in the middle of the word. Then, try the same zh sound with an r in front… rzh. Then once you’ve mastered that, PRZs are a breeze!

Glenn Jericho on May 29, 2012 at 11:32 PM

Anyone remember when Obama was the smartest president ever and that he would surround himself with other intelligent people to assist him?

Those were good times, huh?

ButterflyDragon on May 29, 2012 at 11:36 PM

This is just plain sloppy speaking from complete ignorance. WW2 and the impact on the people of Poland is not in some distant past. It is not something that they perpetrated, it’s something that they endured and millions didn’t survive. I don’t know what is worse, the verbal slight or the idea that the POTUS and his staff don’t understand the freaking Holocaust.

GeeWhiz on May 29, 2012 at 11:36 PM

My best friend on earth is a Catholic Pole…

OmahaConservative on May 29, 2012 at 10:31 PM

Mine too. Great wit and funny insights. I’ve been trying to get him to post here. He is able to but is shy.

Bmore on May 29, 2012 at 11:36 PM

repjew, I understand what you’re trying to say, but as a Pole and knowing the history of WW2, when you have a people that also lost millions to the Nazis, does it really matter in the big picture if they didn’t hate the Poles to the same degree that they hated the Jews?

GeeWhiz on May 29, 2012 at 11:44 PM

This tweet from pollster Larry Sabato:

@LarrySabato: Hmm. PA has 824,000 Polish-Americans. WI: 500,000. OH: 433,000. Even FL: 430,000.

That is why Obama is trying to appeal to this demographic.

tetriskid on May 29, 2012 at 11:45 PM

That curt first “apology” is almost more insulting than the gaffe it was trying to excuse. The whole tone comes across as “this is what we meant, as you should have realized ’cause we do SO much for you, so your outrage is due solely to your stupid misunderstanding. No need to say we’re sorry, then!”

sistrum on May 29, 2012 at 11:48 PM

Thank you for the link. I just recently learned about the Katyn Massacre after I immigrated to the U.S. from Eastern Europe.

JPeterman on May 29, 2012 at 11:28 PM

I would have thought that you would have heard of Katyn if you had lived in Eastern Europe in 1995 or later.

And I can’t recommend Jean-François Revel’s book Last Exit to Utopia highly enough. BEST political science book I have read… EVER! And as an Eastern European, you would probably find it especially interesting. Might I ask where you are originally from?

Glenn Jericho on May 29, 2012 at 11:50 PM

This has nothing to do with who built or ran the Nazi death camps, which, for whatever reason, were all in Poland.

ChicagoJewishGuy on May 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Huh? Dachau is in Germany (to name just one).

UltimateBob on May 29, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Poor Gerald “I don’t believe that the Poles consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union” Ford isn’t even in the running for the Most Outrageously Stupid and Offensive Thing an American President Can Say About Poland compared to Obama.

Ford’s gaffe, occurring in his final debate with Jimmy Carter (in 1976, when Poland, and all of Eastern Europe was, in fact, dominated by the Soviet Union), possibly cost him election to the Presidency (if the Nixon pardon hadn’t already baked his defeat into the cake). In the days following the debate the press savaged Ford for the out-of-touch idiocy encapsulated in his remarks.

Obama’s gaffe won’t attract anything close to similar U.S. press treatment, even though it’s far more insensitive and idiotic than Ford’s.

de rigueur on May 29, 2012 at 11:51 PM

It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.”

Welcome to our world, Foreign Minister.

socalcon on May 29, 2012 at 11:51 PM

My teacher in College gave me the stats. I was wrong About the population being 12 millionin Poland. It was 30 million of which 3 million Jews and 3 million Poles died in World War II. Still 1/5 of your county dead. Of the 6 million ,90% were non miltary.
To me Memorial Day is not just about the Miltary who gave up everthing but the causes they died for.If we become liberals and whitewash every war or blame the Repubilcans or Democrats for why we got into the war we lose sight of why we actually got into the wars.
To myself, if we forget why our miltary died we are doomed to make the same mistakes.The best we can do is honor and never forget.

Gracelynn on May 29, 2012 at 11:51 PM

He thinks Poland is one of the 57 states and is still on his world apology tour; it’s all America’s fault.

Do you think he knows they speak Polish instead of “Austrian”?

Smartest guy in the room. God help us.

NoPain on May 29, 2012 at 11:52 PM

Happy Nomad on May 29, 2012 at 10:21 PM

right, because the Defense lobby, Halliburton, Cheney none of those guys went into Iraq for any financial considerations, correct? Are we really going to pretend that they didn’t loot our treasury, ran up our debt and put it all on the Chinese credit card all for profit themselves?

Secondly oh yes I hate the troops so much I want them to NOT die in endless, useless wars for profit whereas your side uses our troops to line the pockets of defense contractors then leaves them PTSD-addled, maimed or dead. and I’m the one who hates the troops????

DBear on May 29, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Breathtaking.

If this is the kind of garbage you’re brainwashing your niece and nephew with, they are going to grow up even dumber than you are. And yes, you do hate the troops. Nobody held a gun to their heads to force them to do what they are doing in order to protect your right to make a getalife out of yourself.

Before we get to Iraq, let’s get some Facts straight. And these are all facts.

1. Back in 1936, 6 years before Dick Cheney was born, Democrat Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson climbed into bed with KBR, which later became a prime part of Halliburton. Decades later, as President, he made himself obscenely wealthy by giving Halliburton No-Bid Contracts during his War of Choice in Vietnam. That War of Choice killed many more American soldiers than the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars that your Democrats signed off on.

2. In the 1990′s, Democrat pResident Bill Clinton also gave Halliburton no-bid contracts during his Non-UN Sanctioned War of Choice in Kosovo.

3. In late 2006 and early 2007, Leftist Hero and Sugar Daddy George Soros bought $61 Million worth of Halliburton.

4. And in 2008, many Halliburton employees, including a Senior Vice President, donated heavily to your Dear Leader. He later rewarded them by also giving them a No-Bid Contract, as we pulled out of Iraq.

Now, getting back to Iraq. 2 separate Congressional investigations proved that no one in the evil Boosh Administration manipulated intelligence to Lie us into a war with Iraq.

In fact, our current Democrat “Secretary of State”, who was a make believe “Senator” at the time, said she voted to support the Iraq War not because of what Boosh told her, but what her husband’s intel people told her. Was he lying too?

A+

The grade is for perfectly displaying the average intelligence of someone “educated” in today’s Democrat Union Public School Gulag!

This IS Today’s Democrat Voter. Remember, O’bama is the only president to have ever won 70% of the High School Dropout Vote. He’ll need the other 30% to have a chance this year.

Next?

Del Dolemonte on May 29, 2012 at 11:52 PM

He probably did a doobie before making his comments…

PatriotRider on May 29, 2012 at 11:52 PM

That is why Obama is trying to appeal to this demographic.

tetriskid on May 29, 2012 at 11:45 PM

And according to someone else following Sabato, there are over 1 million in Illinois.

JPeterman on May 29, 2012 at 11:52 PM

This has nothing to do with who built or ran the Nazi death camps, which, for whatever reason, were all in Poland.

ChicagoJewishGuy on May 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Actually, wlthough most were in Poland, there were a few elsewhere. The most famous was Jasenovac in Croatia/Yugoslavia.

Deanna on May 29, 2012 at 11:53 PM

I’ve studied under one of the preeminent scholars in Holocaust Studies. The question of Polish complicity in the Holocaust is a VERY controversial topic, and there are certainly arguments that somewhat excuse the fact that the survival rate of Jews in Poland was so low. However, Poles were not systematically slaughtered in an attempt to exterminate their “race.” If you look at Nazi records they meticulously counted every Jewish man, woman, and child they murdered, while they did no such thing for Polish people who were killed. They hated the Poles, but they did not seek their extermination.

repjew on May 29, 2012 at 11:30 PM

I apologize for asking you to ‘read some history’, sorry. That may have been over the line. You seem intelligent and I respect you.

Certainly the subject is controversial. I hate to use a hypothetical, but how would American Liberals react to systematic executions of American Conservatives by an invading force that they had some ideological, racial or otherwise Anti-Semitic sympathies towards while fearing for their own lives? That’s how it was in Poland in WWII, only the names and ideological associations are different, but they are nevertheless diametrically opposed. Proof of this are invading Polish armies landing on the beach in Normandy and bravely advancing. The will was theirs as people of Poland to release it from Germany’s grip and, as a whole, Poles suffered way more than they caused suffering in the entire course of the war and it’s aftermath. That’s all I’m saying. I think Obama’s comment was ignorant because of that.

Cheers!

Corporal Tunnel on May 29, 2012 at 11:55 PM

Even Israeli officials condemn the use of the term “Polish Death Camps”

Corporal Tunnel on May 29, 2012 at 11:21 PM

For the record,Israel doesn’t represent all Jews,

(as a matter of fact there is plenty of proof that the Israeli leaders at that time played down the Hitler threat, and made sure that the US doesn’t accept Jews, because they wanted the world to give them everything after the war)

I don’t use the word Polish death camps, and of course its wrong and a huge Gaffe by Obama to say it, But my grandfather comes from there, and to this day he says that the Pollaks were bigger anti semits then the Nazis,

I am not sure i agree with him, but that’s how he felt, and still feels strongly about

OrthodoxJew on May 29, 2012 at 11:55 PM

tetriskid on May 29, 2012 at 11:45 PM

As an American of Polish descent that will not make me jump to vote for him.

Gracelynn on May 29, 2012 at 11:58 PM

Happy Nomad on May 29, 2012 at 11:23 PM

…yes I was being snarky…I’ve sat in churches in Hamtramck…heavily populated by post war Polish immigrants, here in Michigan…many with tattooed numbers on their arms…and not all of them old!

KOOLAID2 on May 29, 2012 at 11:59 PM

to make a getalife out of yourself.

Del Dolemonte on May 29, 2012 at 11:52 PM

Now that was funny.

UltimateBob on May 30, 2012 at 12:00 AM

I apologize for asking you to ‘read some history’, sorry. That may have been over the line. You seem intelligent and I respect you.

Certainly the subject is controversial. I hate to use a hypothetical, but how would American Liberals react to systematic executions of American Conservatives by an invading force that they had some ideological, racial or otherwise Anti-Semitic sympathies towards while fearing for their own lives? That’s how it was in Poland in WWII, only the names and ideological associations are different, but they are nevertheless diametrically opposed. Proof of this are invading Polish armies landing on the beach in Normandy and bravely advancing. The will was theirs as people of Poland to release it from Germany’s grip and, as a whole, Poles suffered way more than they caused suffering in the entire course of the war and it’s aftermath. That’s all I’m saying. I think Obama’s comment was ignorant because of that.

Cheers!

Thanks, we can definitely agree that the Polish were on the right side of the war, and Obama’s comments were ignorant, that’s for sure.

repjew on May 30, 2012 at 12:00 AM

“See, 0bama meant he thinks Poland ran death camps because his maternal grandfather, who fought his way across Poland with the US Army to liberate Auschwitz, told young Barry so.”

“Since 0bama was told Poland ran death camps, Poland did run death camps.”

–Elizabeth Warren

MidniteRambler on May 30, 2012 at 12:01 AM

Huh? Dachau is in Germany (to name just one).

UltimateBob on May 29, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Dachau was built as a labor camp, not specifically an extermination camp. I know, I know it’s a tehnicality but still…
The one thing I never see or hear mentioned is the Nazis’ use of mobile gas vans. Saved them the trouble of transporting.

Deanna on May 30, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Del Dolemonte on May 29, 2012 at 11:52 PM

…thank you!

KOOLAID2 on May 30, 2012 at 12:04 AM

repjew on May 30, 2012 at 12:00 AM

I trusted my college professor and posted before looking up the facts. Sorry about that. I just know his words horrfied me to see what evil on a grand scale could do.

Gracelynn on May 30, 2012 at 12:06 AM

For some reason, my Irena Sendler link didn’t post in my earlier comment. If you are unfamiliar with this incredible Polish heroine, please look her up. You’ll be even angrier with Obama, but inspired by her courage.

http://www.pbs.org/programs/irena-sendler/

Laura in Maryland on May 30, 2012 at 12:06 AM

repjew, I understand what you’re trying to say, but as a Pole and knowing the history of WW2, when you have a people that also lost millions to the Nazis, does it really matter in the big picture if they didn’t hate the Poles to the same degree that they hated the Jews?

GeeWhiz on May 29, 2012 at 11:44 PM

Yes, for the way we teach the history of the Holocaust to future generations it does. It’s not a matter of degree, it’s on an entirely different plane. Hitler systematically murdered a third of world Jewry. He sought to comb every inch of the European continent to find and murder every Jewish man, woman, and child. He certainly committed horrific atrocities against non-Jewish Poles, but what happened to the Jews of Poland is incomparable to that which happened to their non-Jewish neighbors. Again it’s not matter of “hating” more, he didn’t consider Jews to be human.

repjew on May 30, 2012 at 12:11 AM

I would have thought that you would have heard of Katyn if you had lived in Eastern Europe in 1995 or later.

And I can’t recommend Jean-François Revel’s book Last Exit to Utopia highly enough. BEST political science book I have read… EVER! And as an Eastern European, you would probably find it especially interesting. Might I ask where you are originally from?

Glenn Jericho on May 29, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Born in Slovakia, but spent most of my life in Prague. I was 16 when Communism fell. I learned very little about history. I’m an artist and an English major. Under the Commies, they teach you what they think you are best at and groom you for it.

Thanks for the suggestion on the book. I just bought a used copy over at Amazon! I love you guys for the book suggestions and the patience to answer some of my idiotic questions. ;)

JPeterman on May 30, 2012 at 12:11 AM

I have never seen this Country so divided by race and class as i have over the past 3 years!..Not only are we out of work, but we are turning on ourselves.The mightiest Country The earth has ever seen is turning into a disaster under this President.I stand with Poland,..I hope they stand with us in defeating Obama in Nov…

Bluestate_Blues on May 30, 2012 at 12:12 AM

A German consular official once commented to me that Eastern Europe is Germany’s Latin America. That being the case, one can imagine how Mexicans or Peruvians would react if they rather than Spaniards or Americans were casually associated with the decimation of Amerindians. Nonetheless the Nazis had good reason to locate the death camps in rural Poland. If a dictatorship wanted to murder a large number of people, Paraguay would be a pretty good venue too.

Seth Halpern on May 30, 2012 at 12:14 AM

This gets worse. Karski died in 2000 and the award was accepted on his behalf by Adam Rotfeld, a former Polish Foreign Minister. According to the Polish news source Gazeta Wyborcza, Rotfeld was born into a Jewish family and escaped the Holocaust by being hidden in a cloister by Polish monks. Speaking to the Polish parliament in 2005, Rotfeld said (and my Polish isn’t the best so this is an approximate translation), “Whether thoughtless or intentional, the term ‘Polish death camp’ is offensive and disgraceful…Further, it not only blurs the truth about the perpetrators of the crime, but denigrates our people who were the first sacrifice of the criminal practices of Hitler’s Germans.”

Wonder how he felt taking that award from someone who had just used the term “Polish death camps.”

milmom25 on May 30, 2012 at 12:16 AM

repjew on May 30, 2012 at 12:00 AM

I trusted my college professor and posted before looking up the facts. Sorry about that. I just know his words horrfied me to see what evil on a grand scale could do.

I understand, I just have seen the numbers so many times having visited Yad Vashem twice, the Holocaust Museum in Washington twice, and having taken a class on the history of the Holocaust by a world by an amazing professor who is not only a preeminent scholar in Holocaust Studies, but an unbelievable lecturer. (his class fills up within minutes each term it’s offered)

repjew on May 30, 2012 at 12:18 AM

The historical relationship between Polish Christians, mostly Catholic, and Jews is very complicated and not easily reduced to a couple of pithy statement. Why were there so many Jews in Poland by 1939…simply because beginning in the middle ages Poland was a haven for Jews expelled from other European countries. They settled as most immigrants did among themselves, either in rural areas or in the cities. When Poland was dismembered by Prussia, Russia and Austria in the 18th century Poles had to struggle to maintain their culture and language and Jews were viewed as outsiders…it was a case of either you are with us or against us. After the reestablishment of Poland in 1918 Poland fought a savage war with the Russian Communists and saved the West by turning back the Reds at the Battle of Warsaw in 1921. What they found after that victory was, not surprisingly, that many Jews were also Communist sympathizers…the founder of the KGB was a Polish Jew. At the same time Jews had been an integral part of the Polish society for over 400 years and those who had become secularized viewed themselves as Poles first rather than Jews. The Nazi brutality against both Jews and Catholics in Poland was based on them as Poles as much as anything else.

ironmarshal on May 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM

This has nothing to do with who built or ran the Nazi death camps, which, for whatever reason, were all in Poland.

ChicagoJewishGuy on May 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM

There were concentration camps located all over Europe. Blaming an occupied country for atrocities that were committed by their oppressors is pretty messed up. Obama labeling them “Polish Death Camps”, therefore implying ownership of the atrocities is disgusting and offensive.

TXMomof3 on May 30, 2012 at 12:38 AM

Hey, his uncle liberated Auschwitz. Give him a break.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV1sxq8mqvA

kunegetikos on May 30, 2012 at 12:46 AM

JPeterman on May 30, 2012 at 12:11 AM

Glad to have you as part of the HotAir community and to have you here in America. I have spent very little time in Eastern Europe but have spent much time with Eastern European friends, mostly Poles, Czechs, and Slovaks… all amazing people. And Prague is quite the city too! Wish I had a trdlo right now…
:D

Glenn Jericho on May 30, 2012 at 12:52 AM

Clueless and classless. I’ll give you that he misspoke here but that sure seems to happen frequently with the boy presidente. Howz about throwing flowers at the 9-11-2008 ceremony?

When you are so busy hugging yourself and winking in the mirror, one tends to lose sight of things.

arnold ziffel on May 30, 2012 at 12:53 AM

The Poles will surely understand the fact that this gaffe will get absolutely no coverage in the American mainstream media. They have plenty of first hand experience with this sort of propaganda.

ardenenoch on May 30, 2012 at 12:55 AM

But since that wouldn’t have stopped a collective liberal pants-wetting if Bush had made the same gaffe, we must press boldly on and rub The One’s face in this. Go nuts.

Heh.

Vince on May 30, 2012 at 12:55 AM

The President has demonstrated in word and deed his rock-solid commitment to our close alliance with Poland.”

Yeah, like canceling the land-based missile interceptor system that Bush negotiated with them to protect Europe from an Iranian missile attack. An agreement that put the Poles in very dire straits with the Russians over. An agreement that they stuck their necks out to help the US. An agreement that President Present canceled simply because Bush made the agreement. Yeah, real rock-solid commitment there Chief.

AZfederalist on May 30, 2012 at 12:57 AM

Why not Polish death panels too?

fossten on May 29, 2012 at 9:12 PM

This :)

Nicole Coulter on May 30, 2012 at 12:58 AM

But since that wouldn’t have stopped a collective liberal pants-wetting if Bush had made the same gaffe, we must press boldly on and rub The One’s face in this. Go nuts.

Thanks AP for that hearty belly laugh. MAN I love this site.

Eviva on May 30, 2012 at 1:12 AM

Come on guys! Obama just reads what the TOTUS says!!

If it says he has sons, he talks about his sons! He never reads for content!!

KenInIL on May 30, 2012 at 1:27 AM

“Maldives, Malvinas … Poles, Nazis … whatevah.” – O

Nicole Coulter on May 30, 2012 at 1:29 AM

The only thing more outrageous than PBHO’s comments are the FREE PASS he will get from the LSM…

PATHETIC… the man makes Jimmy Carter look like a GENIUS… he is THAT BAD…

Khun Joe on May 30, 2012 at 1:38 AM

The historical relationship between Polish Christians, mostly Catholic, and Jews is very complicated and not easily reduced to a couple of pithy statement. Why were there so many Jews in Poland by 1939…simply because beginning in the middle ages Poland was a haven for Jews expelled from other European countries. They settled as most immigrants did among themselves, either in rural areas or in the cities. When Poland was dismembered by Prussia, Russia and Austria in the 18th century Poles had to struggle to maintain their culture and language and Jews were viewed as outsiders…it was a case of either you are with us or against us. After the reestablishment of Poland in 1918 Poland fought a savage war with the Russian Communists and saved the West by turning back the Reds at the Battle of Warsaw in 1921. What they found after that victory was, not surprisingly, that many Jews were also Communist sympathizers…the founder of the KGB was a Polish Jew. At the same time Jews had been an integral part of the Polish society for over 400 years and those who had become secularized viewed themselves as Poles first rather than Jews. The Nazi brutality against both Jews and Catholics in Poland was based on them as Poles as much as anything else.

ironmarshal on May 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM

While you certainly seem to know your Polish history, the claim that “many Jews were also communist sympathizers” as an excuse for Polish antisemitism is disappointing to say the least. Most Jews in Poland were neither “secular” nor “communist” but rather torah observant Jews who were, as you correctly stated, rather insular, partly due to antisemitism among the general Polish population, and partly due to their own internal dynamics. The idea that Jews must be secularized in order to be a truly “Polish” is also troubling. Granted, I know that America is a very special place, but as an Orthodox Jew, I am a patriot with a deep love of my country and the principles on which it was founded, and many of my fellow observant Jews feel the same.

Finally, the idea that “The Nazi brutality against both Jews and Catholics in Poland was based on them as Poles as much as anything else” is utterly false. As I stated in a previous post, Hitler systematically murdered a third of world Jewry. He sought to comb every inch of the European continent to find and murder every Jewish man, woman, and child. He certainly committed horrific atrocities against non-Jewish Poles, but what happened to the Jews of Poland is incomparable to that which happened to their non-Jewish neighbors.

repjew on May 30, 2012 at 1:49 AM

for being the smartest ever president- an intellectual powerhouse (and clean too)- this guy is one ignorant puck.

but why should It care about poland? he threw them under puta-putin’s bus a long tome ago. It very well doesn’t give one flying blank about millions of slaughtered white polish people especially jews. high on drugs hoodie hoodlum wannabe thugs who beat the crap out of white hispanics, on the other hand- why, they’re just like sons to him.

for centuries poland- referred to as “paradisus Iudaeorum”- was the most tolerant of countries in europe, the greatest haven for jews fleeing expulsion and persecution. that’s why they had at the onset of WW2 the largest jewish population in europe. that’s why they lost the most jewish citizens in the holocaust.

mittens on May 30, 2012 at 2:12 AM

ironmarshal on May 30, 2012 at 12:34 AM

Great insight.

Corporal Tunnel on May 30, 2012 at 2:24 AM

This is where seeing his transcripts becomes so vital, did he every pass a history course? Ever?

Cindy Munford on May 30, 2012 at 3:06 AM

DUMBEST PRESIDENT EVAHHHH!

tbear44 on May 30, 2012 at 3:07 AM

Maybe he can claim to be 1/32nd Polish.

Do you think that Affirmative action at Harvard had anything to do with this?

I hope not. The gov’t is full of examples from other schools all over the country.

IlikedAUH2O on May 30, 2012 at 3:26 AM

This has nothing to do with who built or ran the Nazi death camps, which, for whatever reason, were all in Poland.

ChicagoJewishGuy on May 29, 2012 at 11:15 PM

Huh? Dachau is in Germany (to name just one).

UltimateBob on May 29, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Dachau was a concentration camp, used long before the Holocaust got underway to house Nazi political prisoners of all types. Dedicated extermination camps, of which there were six, were only constructed in Poland.

ChicagoJewishGuy on May 30, 2012 at 3:30 AM

Maybe he can claim to be 1/32nd Polish.

IlikedAUH2O on May 30, 2012 at 3:26 AM

He just has to rip off some French crab recipes, publish them in a Polish cookbook, and he’s good to go!

ChicagoJewishGuy on May 30, 2012 at 3:31 AM

If for some bizarre reason I ever (chuckle) would have considered voting for this pompous, arrogant, narcissistic, solipsistic freak obama that would have ended today, as it should for anyone with a Polish surname.

Hey obama…..

middle finger to ya, you Idi Amin wannabee.

Wolfmoon on May 30, 2012 at 3:47 AM

“It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.”

Ignorance and incompetence, topped off with a huge scoop of arrogance.

petefrt on May 30, 2012 at 3:49 AM

As a footnote I don’t think that Obama made many Polish friends the other month, when he said on an open microphone, that he would have more flexibility in possibly defunding Eastern Europe’s missile defense system to a high Russian official. And, of course just few weeks ago some Russian official said that if the missile defense system was put in place, they would consider a first strike option……………….can’t the Russians come to their senses. Eastern Europe is not Russia’s enemy.

The world is a crazier place than it has ever been.

SC.Charlie on May 30, 2012 at 3:56 AM

Was he in Krakow? You know, they have more bars in that town per square meter than anyplace else. And maybe he wanted to bond with the Secret Service….

I wish he would have asked them how they keep their economy in such good shape.

They have some socialism and hate it.

IlikedAUH2O on May 30, 2012 at 4:06 AM

Obama must be at it again:

The CHOOMING, I mean!

Way to go, ObamaChong Dude!

Sherman1864 on May 30, 2012 at 5:07 AM

Amateur!

RedSoxNation on May 30, 2012 at 5:27 AM

Happy Nomad on May 29, 2012 at 11:00 PM

That should be the Obama campaign slogan,

“All the incompetence, none of the good intentions.”

MJBrutus on May 30, 2012 at 5:45 AM

repjew, I understand what you’re trying to say, but as a Pole and knowing the history of WW2, when you have a people that also lost millions to the Nazis, does it really matter in the big picture if they didn’t hate the Poles to the same degree that they hated the Jews?

GeeWhiz on May 29, 2012 at 11:44 PM

My in-laws came over from Poland in 1949 and my wife is first generation. The stories of degradation, starvation, humiliation, rape, torture and murder at the hands of Nazis and their Polish collaborators would curl your hair. And they were simple folk. My FIL was a cobbler and farmer who had no status, but he and his family were unlucky enough to be Polish, meaning they were less than human to the Nazi scum and whatever was done to them was OK because it wasn’t being done to “people”. I would have had a BIL named Marion if he hadn’t been murdered at 18 months by the Polish doctor working for the Nazis. I’ve told the story before of how he was taken from his mother’s arms and injected with something she said smelled like kerosene. She watched him die quite horribly. What was his crime? He was still nursing and keeping his mother from working enough hours on the Nazi-controlled farm raising food for German soldiers. They did this to Polish Catholics. Can you imagine how “lovingly” they treated Polish Jews? She also told me of how, before they were imprisoned, they would hide Jews and help them evade capture. They knew the risks, but there are things you must do because you are Christian…because you are human. When the Nazis were finally crushed, they thought they’d be safer under the communists who moved in. They found out differently. They loved their homeland, but knew that the only future for their children was in a free land. This land. I sometimes joke about being Polish by “osmosis”, but I couldn’t be prouder of the fact that my daughter is half Polish, half mutt and all American. God bless Poland and the USA. God damn Barack Obama and the evil he represents.

SKYFOX on May 30, 2012 at 6:07 AM

Well,

Another indication of why he doesn’t want to release his transcripts.

What an ignorant narcissist.

ProfShadow on May 30, 2012 at 7:03 AM

and the patience to answer some of my idiotic questions. ;)

JPeterman on May 30, 2012 at 12:11 AM

Your questions are not idiotic and your insights into what life was like under communism are pure gold.

Oldnuke on May 30, 2012 at 7:14 AM

I will read the comments later, this is one of the most embarrassing things I have ever read. Can’t someone take him on a tour of MULTIPLE death camps, see if he gets it? I have never been on one and frankly I am afraid to-because of spirits linger in those places and can’t cross over. They know that I know and these entities follow me around. UUgghh!

If he is so darn busy and cannot AF1, our over-used a/c, just yank him to the Holocaust Museum. Haven’t been there either but I heard it’s just too sad/hard to take in.

ProudPalinFan on May 30, 2012 at 7:15 AM

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