Yesterday, President Obama grievously offended our Polish allies by calling the Nazi death camps in occupied Poland… “Polish death camps.”
While some Poles did collaborate, the record of Polish resistance to the Nazis, coupled with Polish efforts to help its Jewish population was far, far better than that of one of our other allies.
Matthew Kaminski explains why the Poles are so offended by Obama’s gaffe. In the process he offers a comparison between Poland and France during Nazi occupation.
In his words:
Poles are, to say the least, prickly on this score. When their nation was stuck behind the Iron Curtain for four decades, they were in no position to defend themselves against charges of complicity in the mass murder of Jews. Yet unlike Vichy France, the Poles didn't collaborate with the Nazis in running the country, much less in the Holocaust. The Polish underground was the only organized group that tried to help Jews during the war, smuggling arms into the Warsaw Ghetto during the 1943 uprising. Christian Poles sheltered thousands of Jewish children and faced certain death if found by the Nazis.