(CBS News) Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk remains unsatisfied with the White House response to a comment President Obama made Tuesday regarding a Holocaust-era “Polish death camp,” and suggested the administration offer a more “explicit reaction” to the incident.”
“We expect that America, in connection with this very statement, will join our efforts and help us eradicate such false and unjust phrases once and for all,” said Tusk of the characterization, according to the Polish government’s website. “We always react in the same way to ignorance, lack of knowledge and ill will which lead to the distortion of history. Such phrases are especially painful for Poland – Europe’s most affected country by World War II.”
On Tuesday, President Obama awarded a posthumous Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a Polish resistance fighter during World War II. In his remarks honoring Karski, who died in 2000, Mr. Obama described an incident in which Karski was smuggled “into the Warsaw Ghetto and a Polish death camp” to witness atrocities taking place there. Karski subsequently reported what he saw to Franklin Roosevelt, in what Mr. Obama called “one of the first accounts of the Holocaust.”
Mr. Obama’s characterization of the incident drew immediate criticism from Polish officials, who argued that he should have referred to the camp as a “German death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland,” rather than a “Polish death camp.”
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