Statement of the Reconciliation of European Histories group

Due to the fact that a few journalist of international newspapers have been using the most unfortunate phrase “a Polish concentration camp” in regards to the Nazi German camps in occupied Poland, the Reconciliation of European Histories group would like to remind those concerned that the usage of this wording is incorrect. Moreover, such a misrepresentation is insensitive and can be hurtful towards the people who were the victims of Nazi persecution, their descendants, and all nations whose territories were occupied by Nazi Germany. It is important for all of us to remember that the Polish people, as well as other European peoples, were also prisoners of Nazi concentration camps.

The Reconciliation of European Histories group considers that writing about concentration camps must be reliable and compatible with historical truth. We would like to remind those responsible for these acts of mislabeling and the public in general, that the official name of the Auschwitzcamp, that figures on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is “Auschwitz Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945)”. We recommend that other such camps located in Europe are labeled in a similar way (as, for example, “Nazi German camps in Poland”)

The Reconciliation of European Histories group welcomes the addition of the phrase “Nazi German camps in occupied Poland” to the New York Times stylebook and it encourages other newspapers to do the same, in order to help promote historical truth.

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One Comment on “Statement of the Reconciliation of European Histories group”

  1. Catalin Mamali Says:

    Your observation and proposal are useful and accurate. The word is powerful and journalists have a great responsibility in speaking out clearly the truth as it is known based on evidence. Gandhi considered that newspapers (mass media today) could help communities to think better. Indeed mass media can help communities to think better with the condition that those who publish are using the language in the best possible mode which is in concordance with the known truth and expressed in civil mode.


    Catalin Mamali

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