mōdgethanc wrote:Stephen Fry got into some hot water for comments about the camps being in Poland, so it does exist. I think the term should be avoided because it could give the impression that the Polish were collaborators with the Nazis rather than victims of them (which IME very few people know about and I've even seen heated arguments denying that Poles count as Holocaust victims). I'm not saying it is a common thing though, but I understand where it is coming from. If two million of my countrymen died under the Nazis, I wouldn't exactly be happy with the term.
But is the term actually used by anyone? I had never heard the term before I knew of the controversy. I obviously don't think the term should be used but I'm not aware of it existing except in anecdotal cases where people made an honest mistake. There was that one Israel politician who tweeted some nonsense, but every other case of it seems to be a small number of people unthinkingly using "Polish" as shorthand for "in Poland".
The thing that I was reflecting on is that I was in a synagogue in Hungary with a Polish friend and the rabbi there said "Auschwitz, Poland" and my friend got upset and started talking about the whole "Polish concentration camps" thing. She even said that Germany is a more powerful country than Poland so German media can easily spread the idea that Poland was responsable, and I'm thinking to myself, if any
country has come to terms with past wrongs it committed it's Germany!
Is denying Poles dying in extermination camps (or alternatively claiming this as somehow separate from the Holocaust), as horrible as that is, the same as saying that the camps were Polish? And is correctly identifying Auschwitz as being in Poland (I mean, it just is; it's very common to combine seeing Auschwitz with a trip to Krakow) really a problem?
Also many Poles did collaborate with the Nazis and many of those that didn't were still anti-Semites. In the interwar period a social democratic Polish PM was called a "Jew candidate" by right wing press and then later assassinated by a Polish nationalist. There were pogroms committed by ethnic Poles during WWII -- nothing on the scale of Nazi extermination camps, but who's counting? Not only that but present-day Poland is still full of anti-Semitism.