Polish TV host suggests calling Nazi death camps ‘Jewish camps’

The comment comes amid tensions between Poland and Israel over the legislation, which is meant to assign sole responsibility for atrocities on Polish soil to German Nazis.

By JTA
January 31, 2018 18:30
2 minute read.
Holocaust survivors enter Auschwitz 73 years after its liberation on Holocaust Remembrance Day, Janu

Holocaust survivors enter Auschwitz 73 years after its liberation on Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 2018. (photo credit: KACPER PEMPEL / REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The debate over a Polish law that would criminalize the use of the term “Polish death camps” in referring to Auschwitz and other sites took a nasty turn when a television host joked that they should be called “Jewish camps.”

The comment comes amid tensions between Poland and Israel over the legislation, which is meant to assign sole responsibility for atrocities on Polish soil to the German Nazis who occupied the country.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Author Rafal Aleksander Ziemkiewicz, during the TVP2  show TVP Info, mocked critics of the legislation during a discussion with show host Marcin Wolski, who is also the director of TVP2.

“If we look at the percentage of involvement of countries that took part [in the Holocaust], Jews also were part of their own destruction,” Ziemkiewicz said.

Wolski responded: “Using this terminology, linguistically, we could say these were not German or Polish camps, but were Jewish camps. After all, who dealt with the crematoria?”

Wolski was apparently referring to Jewish inmates who were forced to dispose of gas chamber victims at the death camps.

Krzysztof Czabański, chairman of the National Media Council in Poland, on Wednesday called for an explanation from the president of Polish Television, or TVP, Jacek Kurski.



Meanwhile, the public broadcaster Polish Radio has launched the germandeathcamps.info website in Polish, German and English, which includes documentary evidence that death camps on Polish soil were operated by Nazi Germany. The website had been in the works for several months.

The legislation passed on Friday by the Polish parliament’s lower house, or Sejm, calls for prison sentences of up to three years for the use of the banned term. It now will be taken up by the Senate and also must be approved by the president.

Earlier, Ziemkiewicz on Twitter called Jews opposed to the changes in Polish law “scabs,” a term often used in anti-Semitic slurs in Poland.

“For many years I have convinced my people that we must support Israel. Today, because of a few scabby or greedy people, I feel like an idiot,” he wrote in his tweet, which was later deleted.

He was criticized by David Wildstein, deputy director of TVP1.

“Using the term scab is extremely nasty,” Wildstein tweeted. “This word is disgusting,”

Ziemkiewicz replied: “You are right David, a nasty word associated with all the negative traits attributed to the stereotype Jews, which is precisely why (I used it).”

Ziemkiewicz and Wolski also discussed a scandal in Germany in which car companies tested the effects of exhaust fumes on monkeys and humans.

“It’s an old German tradition,” Ziemkiewicz said.

Related Content

Congress
August 16, 2018
Congressional candidate who called Israel ‘apartheid regime,’ wins primary

By RON KAMPEAS/JTA