Obama Pens Apology Letter To Poles Over “Death Camps” Gaffe

For the reasons I noted earlier this week, this was inevitably going to happen:

President Obama has penned a letter of apology expressing “regret” over using the phrase “Polish death camps” in a ceremony earlier this week, which has drawn heavy criticism from Polish officials.

“In referring to ‘a Polish death camp’ rather than ‘a Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland,’ I inadvertently used a phrase that has caused many Poles anguish over the years and that Poland has rightly campaigned to eliminate from public discourse around the world,” Obama wrote in a letter released by the Polish government. “I regret the error and agree that this moment is an opportunity to ensure that this and future generations know the truth.”

(…)

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski called Obama’s letter “a very important moment in the battle for historical truth,” according to The Associated Press.

As I said on Wednesday, this was obviously an inadvertent mistake on the White House’s part, but it was causing much consternation among the elected officials and citizens of an important ally. So, the apology was appropriate and necessary.

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, Europe, Politicians, Quick Takes, US Politics, World Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. WR says:

    Look, Obama is apologizing for America again! Impeach him!

  2. al-Ameda says:

    I’m guessing that he did not apologize for using a teleprompter.

    I hope he did use the phrase,”I’m sorry if any one was offended that the death camps were in Poland.”

  3. Rob in CT says:

    Right. The apology was necessary and proper. The end.

  4. @Rob in CT:

    Well, it’s the end of this in terms of the US. The underlying issue regarding Poland’s refusal to deal with the full truth of its history continues.

  5. mantis says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The underlying issue regarding Poland’s every nation on the planet’s refusal to deal with the full truth of its their historyies continues.

    FTFY

  6. Gustopher says:

    I regret the error and agree that this moment is an opportunity to ensure that this and future generations know the truth.

    Alas, the letter did not then go into a detailed history of anti-semitism in Poland, pogroms, etc. Just blame it all on the Nazis.

  7. Rob in CT says:

    Stormy, Gustopher:

    Yes, Poland’s holocaust history is not pleasant. That is something they should sort out. But that’s true of much of Europe. Or Turkey wrt Armenia. Or us, with regard to Native Americans. Or our actions in the Phillipines, or…

    Ideally, the Polish government would accept this apology graciously and, meanwhile, make an effort to teach the complicated and uncomfortable history to their schoolkids, and avoid self-serving mythology. Ideally.

  8. @Rob in CT:

    Ideally, the Polish government would accept this apology graciously and, meanwhile, make an effort to teach the complicated and uncomfortable history to their schoolkids, and avoid self-serving mythology. Ideally.

    Instead, anyone that questions the official line is threatened with prosecution for “slandering the Polish nation”:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,529320,00.html