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Obama Offers “Regret” to Polish President

White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest confirmed today that President Obama had sent a letter to Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski on the matter of Obama’s use of the term “Polish death camps.”

Earnest said it was inaccurate to say Obama “apologized” for the incident, which occurred as Obama posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom Tuesday to Polish World War II hero Jan Karski.

But a copy of the letter posted on the Polish president’s website makes it clear that this is in fact an apology, albeit one of those that preserve deniability because Obama didn’t explicitly say, “I’m sorry.”

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.

Komorowski suggested that the apology would help put the matter to rest. From the website:

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.

It’s not clear how other Polish politicians will react, though – Komorowski didn’t take as hard a line with Obama as many other Polish leaders and citizens did.

The White House is smart to try to put the kabosh on this as quickly as possible. After all, the Poles of Ohio and Pennsylvania may be watching.

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14 Responses to Obama Offers “Regret” to Polish President

  1. He needs the polish vote, so I knew this was coming. Now there is a story about how he kept Lech Welsa out of the White House.

    Guess he needed to pay a campaign contribution to get in…..

  2. He is so willing to say “sorry” for every error he believes America has committed to anyone willing to listen. He never says “sorry” for any of his blatant errors.

  3. Tell the damn polacks to shut up. don’t you know our president was attending serious bong studies instead of history classes in high school? how do you expect him to know anything about ancient history like WWII or even find Europe on a map when he was separating the seeds from the buds on his Israel Kamakawiwo’ole album.

    barkleypontree.blogspot.com

  4. I regret not voting for John Kerry in 2004. If he had been elected we would have be elected we would have never heard of little Barry. And Edwards would have been forced to resign in disgrace….just like Agnew.

  5. You know…as ashamed as I am about this gaffe and the way it reinforces negative stereotypes abroad about the average ‘dumb American’ – I’m about willing to tolerate anything that spotlights Obama’s incompetency. This is a blaring example of it.

  6. This ham-handed handling of diplomtic gaffes is becoming all too frequesnt with the Obama administration!! And to add insult to injury, Obama gives the Freedom Medal to the Socialist woman who no one has ever heard about, certainly not in terms of “freedom. Again, Obama cheapens the medal by awarding it to questionable recipients. Receiving the Nobel Peace Price, albiet unworthily, has obviously gone to his already inflated ego.