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Obama Concocts Polish Death Camps

It’s another one of those Obama flubs that the press will ignore or minimize, but if Bush has said it, well, look out!

Speaking at Tuesday’s White House Medal of Freedom ceremony, President Obama honored Polish World War II hero Jan Karski with the following praise:

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.

Except, there were no Polish death camps.

According to Politico, one of the few leading mainstream outlets that does feature the story prominently on its website, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement that Obama “misspoke” by saying “Polish death camp” and was actually referring to “Nazi death camps” inside Poland.

Poland is demanding an apology. The error is made even more disturbing because unlike many other ethnicities within Europe, the Poles refused to man or help run the German concentration camps that had been established within their borders.

Whats more, the Poles were the victims of their own largely unheralded genocide, with some 2 million Polish civilians sent to their deaths and countless others suffering unspeakable torture and abuse.

The is an stirring display of incompetence which even surpasses the State Department’s mistranslation of the word “reset” into Russian. Poland should immediately receive its apology.

81 thoughts on “Obama Concocts Polish Death Camps”

  1. As an American of Polish heritage I find the callous comments by this President derogatory and reflect the caviler attitude that is far too evident within the amateurish White House. I can only begin to imagine what the MSM would have done to President Bush if he had made such comments. I’ll be sending a rather stern email to the White Hose this morning requesting the President stand at a lectern and make a formal apology to Poland and Poles around the world.

  2. Totally agree, Keith. This is how history gets rewritten, one careless phrase at a time until it’s repeated so many times it becomes “common knowledge.”

    1. Yes, I just read Wiki’s summary of the problem. I know better than to believe everything on that site, but it’s clear that Poland has tried to resolve this in the past, with great effort. They need the public and media to assist by calling out anyone who does this until they recant and issue a correction.

      1. In fact, I just visited CBS’ article on this matter, and there were a handful of comments from posters full of misinformation, that this was all a petty mistake, even accusing the entirety of Poland itself of being “in deep” with the Nazis. Like you implied, Robin, today we’re facing casual comments, tomorrow it’ll be written in the textbooks unless we rail against it.

  3. This is what happens when you have President with absolutely no knowledge
    of history and so self absorbed he just goes through the motions on these very
    solemn occasions. I doubt an apology will come he’s so busy admiring himself that combined with his lifetime pass from the MSM he just ignores the
    hurt he causes others. American will spend years mending fences and undoing the mistakes this man has made and they aren’t small ones. An Ivy
    League education doesn’t mean much they no longer teach history.

    1. Another appaling display of Obama’s ignorance when it comes to history. It does beg the question of who writes this stuff….we know he only reads what’s on TOTUS. Maybe it’s all Bush’s fault ?

    2. Actually, Obama’s speech/into was WEIRD. He kinda ran one “into” into another, and you couldn’t tell when he’d switched “stories.” HORRIBLE transitions. Odd odd odd. There were neither verbal, nor physical cues.

      1. I also thought he made those Medal of Freedom recipients wait a rather long time for him to make his entrance. They came out – rather unceremoniously, stood there for a while, and then there was a nice long pause before rockstar Obama came out to Hail to the chief.

        I haven’t watched these things – ever – before, but it seemed to be more about self-aggrandizement than celebrating the peps getting the awards. He was clearly amused by himself.

        One last thing – these awards seem to go rather prominently to … rather famous people. DOn’t they get enough accolades in life? You’d think this sort of stuff would go people of the more “unsung hero” variety.

        1. He and his staff just don’t care about this stuff and do not fact check. Remember his Medal of Honor flub? That was far worse and hardly got a mention..

  4. What would happen, if the Polish president said, handing a special honorary medal for courage to the mum of one of the NY firemen killed in action after the Twin Towers disaster: “We truly appreciate bravery, heroism and sacrifice of the people of The New York fire brigades, who lost their lives trying to rescue the victims of cruel and cowardly American terrorist attack on the World Trade Center”?

  5. Obama’s narcissism and dismissal of world history erupt once again. The Poles deserve more than the expression of “regret” the WH pathetically offered up. And about that Russian “reset”…laughable. Sadly.

    1. One last thing. It is particularly unfortunate that Obama said this while bestowing a well deserved honor on Jan Karski. I was fortunate enough to have had some classes and lectures with Professor Karski and he and a few others made my field of study come alive and fueled my passion for history. Men like Jan Karski put most of our current crop of teat sucking liberal academics to shame. And most likely it will be many of them who attempt to dismiss Obama’s words as no big deal.

      1. Thank you for your comment. It would be a pity if Obama’s gaffe upstaged the honorable. I see Karski wrote about the Polish Underground — I’ll be sure to read his book!

        1. Karski is worth the read. A man of courage. I do not think he would have any problems with the words “fallen heroes”.

        1. Indeed he was one of the great men of the 20th century. I was privileged. I was also fortunate enough to do grad work in my field at Georgetown when it was worth going to and the education lived up to its reputation.

  6. Such ignorance! I suppose the word “Nazi” is a form of ‘racism’ in Obama’s twisted mind. We can’t offend our enemies. Why is it taking so long for an apology?

  7. Although different in substance, Obama blew it when he claimed a past GOP President was resistent to the telephone when, in fact, he was responsible for bringing technology into the White House. Whomever is writing O’s speeches needs to do a little research from time to time. Is it just laziness? Even the AP Stylebook addresses this point and how to describe it correctly. So much for “Smart Power”.

  8. According to a White House spokesperson, Obama misspoke. How do you misspeak when you are reading from a teleprompter? I think the White House is probably short one speech writer today.

  9. The only way to teach Obama that America is about more than idolizing and worshiping him is to fire him this year. Be careful, though, he does have a “kill list” he personally selects and drones are in America now.

  10. It’s going mainstream now; it’s at the top of Drudge with various links to the UK Telegraph, Bloomberg, and Yahoo.

    Does anyone know if he was reading from TOTUS and, if so, was this the actual text on TOTUS? If it was and he decided to wing it or if he wasn’t using TOTUS, can we say he did a Biden?

    1. Oh, Keeeeiiiittthhhh,

      The comment name and e-mail thing are messed up again. I wrote the above comment and didn’t notice that Justavet’s name and e-mail were populated in those boxes before I hit submit.

      Everyone else – check your info before posting.

  11. He does nothing more than read words off the teleprompter, because he knows absolutely nothing about history before the 1960’s black power movement. Chances are none of the teenaged speechwriters the fraud in chief employs have a strong grasp on world history either. My guess is they use Wikipedia as their resource and wouldn’t know the first thing about cracking a book to learn about the subjects they are writing about.

    There was a time when America’s president cared about the impression he made on the world stage…not this guy. He is an embarrassment to this country. The whole world is laughing at us for putting such an incompetent boob in such a powerful position. Come November we will restore sanity and competence to the office of president.

  12. Words do matter and words spoken by an American President matter a lot. However, Poles and citizens with Polish origins shouldn`t worry too much since this happened during the Obama presidency. This President doesn´t know what he is saying. The Teleprompter was sloppily programmed and that ignorant fool just read the words without reflecting on the content.
    Still, again it´s time for some sweet Schadenfreude.

  13. Greta Van Susteran is defending Obama.
    Last night she went after Donald Trump with Democratic Talking Points.
    We are not pleased with her.

    1. Usually don’t watch her show but was following the Texas primary results so had the TV on. I was surprised she went after Trump on the birth certificate thing again. At the end of the interview he sternly told her let’s talk about the economy and she must have got the hint. Glad Trump mentioned his college records, but doubt it will do much good. Chances are any documentation this guy releases will be fraudulent…

    2. Greta sort of lost me when she brought Lindsay Lohan as her guest to the Correspondents’ Dinner…she’s said often in the past how she’s “rooting” for Lindsay. Give me a break.

    1. Thanks, Mike – I’ll be smiling all day now remembering that portion of the movie.

      His staff probably does the other part:

      “The Germans?”
      “Forget it, he’s on a roll”.

  14. I sit here this morning sipping my coffee and reading your post, and I am nearly at a loss for words (something I am unaccustomed to). Some of my father’s family fled the pogroms of Russia before the Reds came to power, and many in my mother’s family left their native city of Poznań to come to the US for a better life. Those that remained endured unspeakable horrors as Communism and Nazism rose to power in Europe.

    Through the years I have researched my roots, and learned that I, like so many Americans of Jewish decent, lost family to the death camps. The Jews of Poznań were completely wiped out, as was much of the non-Jewish population. To see the names of those who were related to you listed as victims of Nationalsozialismus gives one pause to be thankful that national socialism never gained a footing in America, until now.

    Obama’s deliberate, and I mean deliberate, attempt to rewrite the history of Poland and national socialism in Europe demonstrates his desire to minimize the horrors that come with the socialist movement. His goal(s) to socialize American society are obvious to anyone with an understanding of history. Unfortunately to many Americans are ignorant of modern history. Hitler’s rhetoric was to claim that the Jews and others “stabbed” the German people in the back after WWI. He used this as a springboard to launch the “Final Solution” and over 10 million lost their lives.

    Obama constantly talks about punishing the “enemy” and how the rich (let’s be honest when he uses that word there is a subtle implication that it is the Jews) have betrayed the country, and need to pay their “fair share” (ie take their money, lands, etc.). His constant twisting of the truth brings to mind a quote from a former European tyrant, “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” The person who is credited with those words, Adolph Hitler.

    1. Shofar,

      Thanks for your post – it must be incredibly difficult to know that family members suffered such cruel deaths. In addition to making this gaffe yesterday, Obama also honored Dolores Huerta whose socialistic idealogy is well known.

      1. His wife gave us fair warning before the 2008 election. She was yanked off the campaign trail after making this statement in Puerto Rico.

        “Barack knows that we are going to have to make sacrifices; we are going to have to change our conversation; we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.”

        1. I bet he couldn’t yank her off this go around as I think she’s in charge. I mean would you want to be in the way of her and her lifestyle being taken away..v scary.

  15. And now, facts:

    Extermination camps were killing centers designed to carry out genocide. Between 1941 and 1945, the Nazis established six extermination camps in occupied Polish territory–Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau (part of the Auschwitz complex), and Majdanek. Chelmno and Auschwitz were established in areas annexed to Germany in 1939. The other camps (Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Majdanek) were established in the Generalgouvernement (General Government) of Poland. Both Auschwitz and Majdanek functioned as concentration and forced-labor camps as well as killing centers. The overwhelming majority of the victims of the extermination camps were Jews. An estimated 3.5 million Jews were killed in these six extermination camps as part of the “Final Solution.” Other victims included Roma (Gypsies) and Soviet prisoners of war.

    The camps were located in Poland. This is what Obama was clearly referring to–location, not dominion.

    Obama was correct in describing their location–knowing a history that many of the above clearly do not know.

    “Were there any death camps in Poland or not?”

    Answer: Yes. Of course. The most notorious. That is where they were located. In occupied Poland. Concentration camps in France would not be described as located in Germany–yes, such camps existed–even when France was occupied by Germany. Read your history.

    1. Geographically, they were in Nazi-occupied Poland – but they were not ‘Polish’ in origin. They created by the Germans and run by the Germans. That is why Poland takes such offense.

    2. Yes, of course this is the fact and I believe that people here are aware of it. But, words matter and Obama used the wrong expression.
      I shudder when I read that a “Swedish man” did a terror act here and there when the correct expression is ,for example, a Swedish citizen with Somalian origin. A huge difference !

    3. Factly,

      As an American of both Polish and Jewish descent I take personal offense at Obama calling these death camps “Polish.” Yes, you are correct they existed in Poland, but they were not Polish camps, they were Nazi camps. A better choice of words would have been “Nazi death camps in Poland” and would have clarified exactly what he was talking about. As I wrote earlier, Obama is rewriting the history of national socialism so as to take away the horror that it was.

      It is not splitting hairs to want the truth. It is demanding accountability from the man who is supposed to be the leader of the free world. The person to whom the rest of the world looks to for honest leadership, thoughts and words.

      Facts, like statistics, can be interpreted however the reader/speaker/listener wants. That is why clarity must always be used.

    4. The location is not as important as who is designer of these camps. What if I said; Japanese nuclear bomb has been dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki? What would Japanese feel? Am I wrong? The tool of death has worked in Japan!!!! – so it must be a Japanese bomb!
      The sentence ‘Polish camps of death’ makes a false impression that Poles are authors of these tools of death… which is NOT truth.

    5. A quick google search shows this “factly” post has been pasted all over the internet this morning. It seems someone in the Obama campaign or Media Matters is worried this might stick to HRH Obama.

      So don’t bother responding because the obot who dumped this won’t be back.

    6. I’m sure “factly” was just as fastidious with the facts regarding the “Mission Accomplished” banner. So, while everyone was arguing what a doofus Bush was for claiming the war was practically won in ’93, you pointed out that the “mission” that was accomplished wasn’t the larger war, but the 10 month deployment/ mission of the USS Abraham Lincoln. That the crew requested the sign, not Bush.

      Yea. I’m sure.

    7. Factly, stop CtrlC-CtrlVing this “factshit” all over the web – I’ve seen it on British “The Telegraph” site. You forgot many other concentration and death camps (Plaszow for example, or Sztutowo with “tiny” and “unimportant” death tolls of tens thousand).

      And first of all, factly: there were Poles being murdered in those camps – 6 million Polish pre-war citizens were killed during WW2, in this number 3 million Polish Jews – the remaining 3 million didn’t commit elegant suicide in their bathrooms, factly. Obama’s PR staff is – as I see on your, factly, example – still at its best, which is not even good. In fact, factly, fatal. You must have had the same teachers as Mr President.

      Besides: in “Polish sausage” the word “Polish” is for dominion or location? Or rather tradition, specialty, heritage, taste? And in “Polish joke” “Polish” is for dominion or location? Or contempt, or prejudice? And what about “Polish Task Force in Afganistan”? Is there the word “Polish” for dominion or for location? Or for an ally?

  16. Is he channeling Plugs? It’s pretty amazing that The Gifted Orator” would still make such a gross error while reading from a teleprompter. Sean Hannity was talking about this very thing last night (corpseman) and at the time it seemed to fall a little flat, but these gaffs seem to be the gift that keeps on giving.

  17. I am a Polish American. I find the “Polish death camp” phrase is simply harmful, and it should be met with the same outrage as any other “politically incorrect” statements. For a person who is not well versed or misinformed on this historical aspect of WWII, it implies that Poland somehow invited or even collaborated with the Nazis in establishing death camps on its territory. Unfortunately, this ‘useful shorthand’ keeps finding its way to many prestigious publications over and over. How else did it make to President’s speech?

    People reading such comments may think: “Oh, since it was a “Polish deaths camp”, Poland and Polish people must have had somehow took part in it. Aren’t they all Anti-Semites anyway? So, they must be also somehow responsible or involved for Nazi crimes and genocide crimes”.

    I do not want to think that these types of statements are purposeful, but in all consequence, this could be useful mental shorthand for some, couldn’t it? These ignorant statements come from somewhere. They are rewriting history and state of human minds.

    The fact is that Poland was one of the first countries to refuse any collaboration with Nazi Germany (before WWII Hitler thought of Poland as potential ally against Soviet Russia). It was also Poland who was a target of first massive joint German & Russian incursion of WWII on Sept 1939 (See Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact), effectively losing it’s territory, independence and as a result any influence on what has happened within its territory, death camps included. It is also a fact, that unlike some other ethnicities within Europe (I do not want to point fingers here), Poles en masse refused to man or help run German concentration camps setup by Nazi’s on it’s territory. Does it mean that there were no Anti-Semitic or criminal acts against Jews in Poland during WWII? No, but there is no German occupied country in Europe where none happened.

    It is also a fact that Yad Vashem Institute honored with the title “Righteous among the Nations” (awarded for documented acts of saving of Jewish lives during the Holocaust) more than 6 thousand Polish nationals. It is also safe to say that for one awarded, on average 10 other unnamed or unknown must have helped as well. This is highest count among all nations, with Netherlands taking second spot. This must mean for something. If you do not know what this title/award means and who gets it, see Wikipedia.

    Sorry for short “history lesson”, but this is not the first time this has happened. Such harmful and undeserved statements like Obama’s keep appearing in most prestigious of places, newspapers and are constantly repeated by many officials over and over again. It is time to put a stop to it, and keep objecting to such comments until they are considered more than a simple faux pas. They should be met with the same public outrage or “social death” as racism, sexism, Anti-Semitism etc. alike. I can only hope that many upstanding individuals of other nationalities will get involved in setting the record straight once for all.

  18. The Prime Minister [of Poland] stated that Poland expected America to engage in efforts aimed at eradicating the phrase “Polish death camps” once and for all. Donald Tusk added that it might “paradoxically be a good occasion for the American administration, Americans and the President of the United States to support Poland in its efforts to promote historical truth, correct phrases and appropriate assessments of the events which took place in Poland and Europe during the Second World War”.

    Whoa! Wait a minute!. Don’t go broad brush-stroking all Americans as ignorant of history. Our Big-brained, Ivy-league educated, Indonesian-exchange student President needs to apologize.
    I would have fact-checked my speech before leaving the Choom-Choom van to give this speech.

  19. Pingback: Obama Concocts Polish Death Camps…. « According To Drew

  20. Poland – is that one of the 57 states? Do they speak Austrian there? I’ll have to ask my next door neighbor the Navy CorpseMan.

  21. Well, there’s nothing unusual in saying that Obama is an ignorant – after all, who isn’t? He’s just a guy in a president’s suit, nothing more…
    More important would be to know, who wrote that speach for him. Certainly someone who knew what effect this would bring… Obama not handy any more?

  22. We all have to remember that the camps were German. They were created by Germans and ruled by Germans.When we use Nazi people sometimes does not connect it with Germany but Poland because the camps were located in Poland. The full name is German Nazi Death Camps located in occupaied Poland.

  23. It just amazes me that someone with such a highly touted education and intelligence could make such a bizarre mistake. Even if his speech writers are to blame for their lazy attitude toward research and fact checking, Obama should have been intelligent enough to not speak the words from TOTUS.

    My husband is Polish American. My brother’s wife is Jewish and lost many of her family in the Nazi death camps. I am highly offended by Obama’s attempt to re-write history for his convenience. An apology is in order.

  24. I wonder if he has enough class to apologize now. Or maybe the White House will pretend they’re so dumb they do not know what the problem is with “polish overreaction”?

  25. Czytając niektóre wypowiedzi nasuwa się pytanie, co jest gorsze ignorancja jaką się cechuje się wypowiedź przedstawicieli Waszego rządu czy ich niewiedza. Osobiście wolę ludzi, którzy nie wiedzą, a chcą się dowiedzieć, niż tych, którzy nie wiedzą, bo nie chcą wiedzieć. Czy oczekuję przeprosin? Jeżeli mają to być słowa odczytane z telepromptera to raczej nie…

  26. Mr. President. I’m Very disapointed, that news like that going to come from
    YOU. The mistake is been repeted many times before < but not on the scale
    of Presidential speech, or comments.
    What is been said about polish nazi camps in many news papers or local
    state departments to write this statments lies is anacceptible.
    How long THIS Nation will be having (coat hanger) for every body.
    We demended appology immidietly.
    Thanks Maksymilian.

  27. Certainly believe that the same as in 1942, inconvenien for the U.S. government was to find out about the Holocaust – the U.S. government today is INCONVENIEN to say – the GERMAN concentration camps.

    Is much easier to use the phrase “polish concentration camps”

    Would anyone like to tell me that President Barack Obama – graduated from Columbia Univesity and graduated from Harvard Law School – innocently mistaken, not knowing until now that these were GERMAN concentration camps?

    The answer is very clear. Still not heard a word – SORRY – the intentions are very clear.

    Mr. President Barack Obama – We are very disappointed in you.

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