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“Polish Concentration Camp” Issue
PMI Response To Minister Sikorski’s Comment On Successfully Defeating The “Polish Concentration Camp” Issue
The Polish Media Issues (PMI) group noted with interest the views of Kazimierz M. Ujazdowski on combating “Polish concentration camp” issue in the media. The PMI was encouraged to read the response by Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Radosław Tomasz Sikorski. The Minister highlighted his department’s success in dealing with some of these media referring to Nazi concentration camps in wartime-German occupied Poland as somehow being Polish and helping shape improved editorial stylebooks.
The PMI have recorded 1,300 such issues in the last 8.5 years with almost 350 remaining unresolved. PMI records show a reduction of “Polish concentration camp” references from their height in 2010 among the mainstream English language media. In fact the 2013 level was almost one third of 2010. This clearly supports the minister’s statement that progress is being made to combat “Polish camp” issues in major English language media.
Still the PMI believes that with tens of “Polish concentration camp” issues in the English mainstream media during 2013 claims of success may be premature. This is especially true as the alternative wording being used by the media is often unsuitable e.g. Nazi death camp in Poland, implying Nazi sympathisers or members of the far-right Polish political parties in 1939-45 were responsible for setting up and managing them, rather than the German wartime state.
In non-main stream media and internet sites used mostly by younger people, we continue to see increases about 30% year on year. If we fail to address these issues the future generation who gets their knowledge from these sites will have a distorted view of history.
The PMI thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Polish embassies and consulates especially those in the United Kingdom and Canada for their work in combatting the “Polish concentration camp” issue. We hope to continue to work with them to ensure the hard won success the minister referenced continues.
The Polish Media Issues group (PMI) was founded in July 2005 and has been involved in 1,700 various media issues with some form of correction in three quarters of them. For more information, contact Jan Niechwiadowicz, Moderator of the PMI group.
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