789Help with media using Polish death camp
- Dec 16, 2010
As you maybe aware I am the moderator of the Polish Media issues group. We have for the past 5.5 years try to deal with media issues especially Polish concentration camp type. We had over 500 wins out of approximately 800 issues we been involved in.
The PMI have written a number of times to TBD and even called on the embassy in Washington to take action. After over two months it is still outstanding. It would normally not be that important but they seem to want to play games. Their responses to me claim there is a need to investigate the complaint. When another member wrote to them but used the name Govrin (the author of the book being reviewed) instead of the author of the article they replied "Wrong publication. We don't employ M. Govrin". As I was exchanging e-mails with the same person, they had to know what the other PMI member meant.
Below is further information on this issue. Any help would be appreciated. Further alerts (media issues) and interesting articles are available via Polish Media Issues Facebook page or contact me for membership of PMI Yahoo group.
Jan Niechwiadowicz, Cardiff
Summary of useful information
TBD is a TV station and website that delivers local news and community information from the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. region.
Erik Wemple Editor - ewemple@...
Paul Volpe - Managing Editor - pvolpe@....
Andrew Beaujon - abeaujon@...
My First letter of complaint
In the story linked above, you have the statement "Stories and essays by prominent Israeli intellectual, including a trip the Polish death camp her mother survived."
The Australian Press Board have said that the expression "Polish death camps" could mislead Australian readers, is offensive to Poles, and therefore violates the principles of Australian journalism.
In the UK, the leading magazine the Economist noted Mrs Clinton will visit Auschwitz. However much she praises Polish sacrifice and heroism during the war, that will doubtless lead to some nitwit reporting about her trip to the "Polish death camp"
These words cause issues as £ukasz Kamiñski, historian of the Institute of National Remembrance, has stated: Time passes and the level of public knowledge of World War Two decreases. The more we hear about "Polish death camps" the less we will think about what it really means - if it means they were built in Poland, or by Poles. We must defend the historic truth on this matter with determination.
Adam Rotfeld, thenPoland's foreign minister, went further saying: use of the term `Polish death camps'â.â.â.ânot only conceals the truth about the perpetrators of that crime, but slanders our nation, which was the first victim of the criminal practices of Nazi Germany.
Others who have used the term have admit their mistake such as Simon Wiesenthal Center, who admitted they originally referred to as "Polish death camps". Lest anyone infer from the use of that term that these camps of mass murder were established, sponsored or run by the Polish authorities, we want to hereby clearly state that they were built and run by the Nazi occupation authorities in Poland and not by the Poles.
Please correct the article. It was a Nazi death camp imposed on German occupied Poland
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Erik Wemple (First reply)
Thanks for this note; we are looking into the matter at this point."
After I chased
Andrew Beaujon (First reply)
Mr. Niechwiadowicz, thanks for your letter. Through an Internet search I've read your many other complaints to publications around the world on this matter. Still, I need to look into it further, as I've never seen a complaint of this sort before. I will get back to you when I do. This story is about an event that ended over a month ago, and while I doubt anyone without a Google News Alert set to ping when "Polish death camp" is typed anywhere around the globe is looking at it, accuracy is a great concern of ours here at TBD
My reply to Beaujon which also had a further 48 pages of material attached
Dear Mr Beaujon,
Thank you for the reply. I still don't understand the need to investigate it further. The longer it is up the more damage it does. It simply comes down to did the Nazi ran the camps or the Poles? Provided you agree with the truth then changing the wording to say Nazi death camp in occupied Poland should not be a problem and would take far less time than doing some form of investigation.
If you need to investigate then can I suggest you watch Upside Down which is a great documentary on the issue showing how school children are confused by the term and think the Poles ran the camp? This is a major concern with over 135,000 individuals (link given above) signing a petition in the past month? To help you further I attached a document I did a six months ago to a media organisation also showing a reluctant to correct an article. I hope you find it useful.
If I can further then please say as I have plenty more material if you would care to read it or I can put you contact with other experts on this matter.
Andrew Beaujon (Second reply)
Thanks, Mr. Niechwiadowicz. I understand this is a matter of great controversy in certain quarters, and my research will look at all angles of it
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