The Poles are getting worried that people will forget who set up death camps in their country:
The United Nations has accepted Poland’s request to rename the Auschwitz death camp on its list of World Heritage sites to make clear it was run by Germans not Poles, the Polish government announced on Wednesday.
Auschwitz and the linked Birkenau camp in Poland would be known as “Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi German Concentration and Death Camp”, Culture Minister Kazimierz Ujazdowski told a news conference in Warsaw.
But a spokesman for the Paris-based UN education and culture arm UNESCO said he could not confirm the news. Last year, Poland announced prematurely that the change had been made.
“UNESCO has made a decision as a result of Poland’s request to change the name of Auschwitz Birkenau to reflect the historical truth,” Mr. Ujazdowski said, with the Israeli ambassador at his side. “This is a victory for truth.”
More than a million Jews from across Europe were killed by the Nazis in Auschwitz and Birkenau in occupied Poland during the Second World War. Many Poles worry that the world is forgetting the camps were set up by the Germans.
Warsaw points to references to “Polish gas chambers” or the “Polish concentration camps” in world media as evidence Poles are wrongly portrayed as collaborators with the Nazis in killing Jews.
Last year, Poland formally asked UNESCO to change the camp’s name. Jewish organizations and Israel backed the plan after initial reservations. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has been meeting in New Zealand.
Source: The Globe and Mail.