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Obama misstatement offended Polish

June 4, 2012
The Mining Journal

Here in the United States, we are blessed with a large, proud population of people who trace their roots back to Poland. A few of them fought the Nazis during World War II, both in U.S. forces and in the Polish resistance.

Part of what they fought against was the brutality of the Nazi regime, including death camps that slaughtered millions of men, women and children.

So local residents may have been troubled at a comment by President Barack Obama on last Tuesday. It came during a ceremony awarding a Medal of Freedom to the late Jan Karski, a Polish resistance fighter during World War II.

Karski helped alert the world to what was happening in the death camps.

At one point, said Obama, Karski was smuggled "into the Warsaw Ghetto and a Polish death camp ..."

Polish officials reacted angrily, noting there were no Polish death camps. There were Nazi extermination camps on Polish soil.

It was merely a slip of the tongue, the White House apologized. We agree but it also was an example of the occasionally cavalier attitude we see from the president toward history.

The devil, as it is said, is often in the details.



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