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  • Obama Insults Poland Again

    President Obama has a long track record of insulting the Poles. In 2010 he chose to play golf on the day of the funeral of the Polish President Lech Kaczynski, the Polish First Lady, and 94 senior officials who perished in the Smolensk air disaster. Eight months earlier he humiliated Warsaw by pulling out of the agreement over Third Site missile defence installations in Poland and the Czech Republic. And last night Barack Obama caused huge offence in Poland by referring to a Nazi death camp in Poland as “a Polish death camp” while awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a Polish resistance fighter. As ABC’s Jake Tapper reported:

    Poles and Polish-Americans expressed outrage today at President Obama’s reference earlier to “a Polish death camp” — as opposed to a Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland.

    “The White House will apologize for this outrageous error,” Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski tweeted. Sikorski said that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk “will make a statement in the morning. It’s a pity that this important ceremony was upstaged by ignorance and incompetence.”

    The president had been trying to honor a famous Pole, awarding a Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a resistance fighter who sneaked behind enemy lines to bear witness to the atrocities being committed against Jews. President Obama referred to him being smuggled “into the Warsaw ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself.”

    The Obama administration has tried to downplay the incident. According to ABC:

    National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement, “The President was referring to Nazi death camps operated in Poland. The President has demonstrated in word and deed his rock-solid commitment to our close alliance with Poland.”

    Weasel words from the White House will do little however to calm Polish anger. After all, these were carefully scripted remarks by the president reading off a teleprompter. Six millions Poles died at the hands of Nazi Germany during World War Two, including three million Polish Jews during the Holocaust. The president’s use of the term “Polish death camp” is hugely insulting to the Polish people, and will reinforce the growing image across Eastern and Central Europe of an American presidency that cares little for key US allies, especially against the backdrop of its controversial and weak-kneed “reset” policy towards Russia. For a US administration that likes to boast of “smart power,” this was an act of staggering historical ignorance as well as crass insensitivity.

    Cross-posted from The Telegraph

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    54 Responses to Obama Insults Poland Again

    1. Laurie Davis says:

      I am reading "the Amateur" which refers to the arrogance of this President and speaks to the fact that he surrounds himself with uninformed people ignorant in foreign policy and diplomacy. Any true expert on the history of Poland and the tragedies it has endured via the Nazis and the Russians would have been Able to vet this speech. How many more times must Americans be embarrassed?

      He has already indicated by his actions that he doesn't mind if the Russians take over Poland once again, agreeing with the Russian description of Poland being under their "spheres of influence". Given Russia's history, that must give all Poles pause for thought. It does me.

    2. TED NUGENT says:


      • Blondie says:

        One should only consider the source!

        • Roger S. says:

          Precisely! Mr. O'bumblebee is simply not very well educated,
          attending Columbia and Harvard Law in what amounts to their
          most Leftist era. Little more could be expected.

          • sw14 says:

            There is no doubt that this statement was completely ignorant and offensive to a whole country and millions of others who have gone through one of, if not the, most atrocious periods in time. However, more reason needs to be used by the general public. There is a complete disregard for how things actually work compared to how most see them as working.

            In this day and age Presidents, for the vast majority, do not write their own speeches and have very little time to actually go over it before presenting, so it is not DIRECTLY Obama's fault for this outrage. It is more of the speech writer's fault.

            I am in no way saying that what was said is acceptable or that it couldn't have been avoided through more careful (using common sense) procedures. I just find it saddening that many people in their comments do the exact same thing as what Obama did– using misinformation– and expect to be taken seriously.

            Also if you are aware of how things are done according to speech writing in the White House and STILL choose to blame Obama for this than it is apparent that you are just fundamentally flawed in your ability to be open-minded.

            It's funny how people find a way to blame others just because things aren't going smoothly in government and chose to push unwarranted persecution upon them. Sound Familiar?

    3. Wyatt says:

      What can you expect from a Kenyan Communist ! He hates Poland for being the first to rebel against Soviet Communist Oppression and start the down fall of his beloved Communist Leaders

    4. Factly says:

      And now, facts:

      Extermination camps were killing centers designed to carry out genocide. Between 1941 and 1945, the Nazis established six extermination camps in occupied Polish territory–Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz-Birkenau (part of the Auschwitz complex), and Majdanek. Chelmno and Auschwitz were established in areas annexed to Germany in 1939. The other camps (Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, and Majdanek) were established in the Generalgouvernement (General Government) of Poland. Both Auschwitz and Majdanek functioned as concentration and forced-labor camps as well as killing centers. The overwhelming majority of the victims of the extermination camps were Jews. An estimated 3.5 million Jews were killed in these six extermination camps as part of the "Final Solution." Other victims included Roma (Gypsies) and Soviet prisoners of war.

      The camps were located in Poland. This is what Obama was clearly referring to–location, not dominion.

      Obama was correct in describing their location–knowing a history that many of the above clearly do not know.

      “Were there any death camps in Poland or not?”

      Answer: Yes. Of course. The most notorious. That is where they were located. In occupied Poland. Concentration camps in France would not be described as located in Germany–yes, such camps existed–even when France was occupied by Germany. Read your history.

      • RubyBlu says:

        We know the facts. As a 'noted, accomplished' statesman, no matter how you may want to slice and dice it, the remark by o was not only insensitive to the occasion but also unacceptable.

      • Lynn says:

        He said "Polish death camp", not "death camp located in Poland". Big difference!!!

      • bwelcher says:

        He wasn't being asked a question, he was making his comments about the recipient of the medal he was awarding and described these camps as "…Polish death camps…" It's not obvious to me or any other reasonable person that the president is referring to the location of the camps. When I hear, or read, a statement like this I take it as a description of ownership. The death camps were 'owned' so to speak, by the Polish people, or government, or army; something like that. If he made a mistake, I can accept that. I can't accept this constant covering up, excuse making, or spinning that goes on by the media and the supporters of the president when it is either untenable to do so; ridiculous to do so; or just wrong to do so. Ronald Reagan or either one of the Bush presidents would have been excoriated by the news media and the vocal Left in our society. Learn to live with it.

      • Rose says:

        What you don't seem to realize is that this is not the first intransigence from this man who calls himself president of the USA… look at the article… besides he ONLY speaks when reading a teleprompter so whoever wrote the words to speak to him, and whoever approved the speech, and Obama himself reading the words, were knowledgeable about what the real meaning was purported, let's not make excuses for all these people involved they all knew exactly what they were writing and Obama knew what he was reading…

      • @Lemzilla says:

        So Wikipedia makes it OK? One of the first rules of public speaking is know your audience. It's incomprehensible that an administration that crows about how smart it is would make such a simple and silly blunder. It's like standing in Hiroshima and referencing Pearl Harbor. Factually, Japan started the war. Pointing that out in Hiroshima would be insensitive and crass. All he had to say was "Nazi Death Camp". Was it really that hard? For a guy who's hypersensitive about half his DNA, he's not very sympathetic if the ethnicity being insulted isn't black. And Harvard my ass, show me your grades. He's hiding his grades because he's modest about his achievements? Since when? Can't admit W got a higher SAT score? This guy wouldn't be the smartest guy in a room full of toddlers. He's a constant embarrassment and utter failure as a president.

      • Bobbie says:

        I'm only understanding your point to be his classlessness and insults are justified? what little you've come to expect from such a man who is in the highest position. Whatever Obama is "clearly referring to" is destroying this country.

      • Guest says:

        Thanks for setting us straight on what the idiot meant to say. I think his reference was deliberate. So, when the president of the United States makes reference to the Polish death camps, that is what he means. Be precise. It is not too difficult, is it? If he means death camps situated by the Nazis in their brutal occupation of Poland, that is what he should say. It is not a passing reference, but an awful time in history. Give the reference its due. It is not an off hand remark. Only an idiot and his followers would think so.

      • Richie says:

        Fact…. the concentration camps were not run by the Polish people…. but by the Nazis….. therefore they were not Polish death camps, but Nazi death camps. There is more to dimplomacy & ettiquette than a knowledge of geography. Obama & his team are plain incompetent!

        • MnNice (USAF/ret) says:

          I tried to say the same thing but I wasn't so nice so my comment was "scubbed" from the comments section.

      • MnNice (USAF/ret) says:

        We have read our history and to infer that these camps were Polish-run is pure ignorance. They were run/controlled by the Nazi's. Anyone who knows history understands this. The comment he made, as it stands, does not give any other impression than the inference they were run/controlled by the Polish gov't. The Polish gov't at the time was in fact an extended arm of the Nazi (i.e. German) regime.

        • Pollack says:

          the Poles have fought for democracy for centuries and the US sold them out several times to russia.
          I'm sure obama is warming up to sell them out to russia again.

      • Larry N Stouffer says:

        You set yourself up impressively, but your point was flaccid. It was a Nazi death camp.

      • Carmen says:

        Linguistically, you could also refer to them as "Jewish death camps" since it was mostly Jews who were exterminated in them, as opposed to Eskimoes or Argentinians.

        However, the way the English is structured, the modifying noun conveys ownership as well as description.

        While technically correct, when using a term as emotionally loaded as one that describes death camps, one would think that a leader of a Western country would have speechwriters capable of judging the impact of language.

        Apparently not in this ham-handed, amateur outfit.

        Apologize to Poland and blame it on George Bush- that'll fix it.

      • Sandra says:

        He clearly meant that the camps were in Poland, hence the use of word "polish"

      • jacaranda says:

        Factly has posted his remarks all over the internet today. I believe he is a tool from the Obama campaign.

      • Stirling says:

        "Poles and Polish-Americans expressed outrage.." Obviously "Factly" the Polish people have a different opinion then the president. You can try to explain it all you want, but the "Biden Moment" happened.

      • Bobbie says:

        factly nonfactual. If this man had any respect for humanity he'd know what he's saying before he speaks. It's apparent Obama and the Mrs. wants breast feeding from cradle to grave. There's enough boobs in the house to go around the world with little Drew Carey, oops I mean Dennis the Menace, ah no, Jay Carney to reiterate what he REALLY MEANS… wastes of time and money!

        How disrespectful and insensitive can this man get before he gets what he deserves? He's intentionally stirring the masses…

      • Mean-What-U-Say says:

        Wow…thank God "factly" showed up to set the rest of us straight. Just another little misunderstanding between the Harvard liberal and the village idiots of Poland, huh? For someone not associated directly w/ the President's speech writing team, your ability, and willingness, to clarify what Obama meant was…well, apparently necessary. Oh the burdens of the liberal Gods, always having to explain "everything" to the children of the world. Hmmm…facts aside, I wonder how you would have responded if you were Polish. Politics and foreign affairs is as much about sensitivity as it is about facts.

    5. Glapson says:

      Obama is THE PACIFIC president, he probably doesn't care about insulting 40 millions people somwhere in central-eastern Europe… Reset with Russia, disrespecting President Kaczynski"s funeral in Krakow, what else?

      • Roger S. says:

        What else? — OK — you forgot patting Medvedev on the knee, friendly-like, and telling him that after the next election he'd have more political "room", presumably for concessions to that arch crook and his master Putin. — Calling our Constitution an outdated document of negative rights. And the list goes on, and on. and on…. BO has proved time after time that he is utterly clueless about anything that matters to others, but quick to sense HIS personal/political advantage. Thus he bloviates, a lot. And is wrong a lot.
        Time for "Change It in November"!

    6. allen says:

      The respect that this man should have as the President of the US, is gone never has been.The only words that can explain this " Nothing but a Fine Talking Field Hand". If you don't believe this then Release his College Record, Only a coward that thinks they are smart seals his educational prowness. Shame on you, "The United States of America". I only hope that GOD will forgive you. All of you are responsible for this LACKWIT.

    7. Not to worry, I'm sure he will apologize ……….he is very good at it. When are people going to figure out that this imbecile is in over his head…

      • Bobbie says:

        sorry to beg to differ Mr. Underwood, but Mr. Obama only wants you to give him that excuse of him "in over his head." Mr. Obama remains on his course…

    8. Another slap in the face of our allies.

    9. tocelp says:

      Bofo! The Spanish translation.

    10. Shelby says:

      This is a reach. Concentrate on legitimate complaints against Obama. This one is desperate and pointless.

    11. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Just let him be, he'll give all the AMMO to defeat himself, he cannot keep his mouth shut and he is so wrapped up in his own importance that he doesn't think people hear or see anything but him, he honestly beieves he is the Messiah.

    12. enzo says:

      Most incompetent administration ever, they don't even know common history. Shows the failure of the American education system as well.

    13. RRC says:

      He just can't help himself. Likes to hear himself talk and TRY to preach. Might as well talk to the HAND!!!!!
      Had occasion of documenting the life of a Polish Jew who was in that camp. It is now in the files in Washington DC archives. The Nazi's built and ran that camp.

    14. S. Dill says:

      As an instructor in both English and history, I would have to disagree with your assessment. The correct terminology would be Nazi death camps, Nazi concentration camps, enemy camps, Nazi extermination camps, or camps formed by the enemy occupiers from Nazi Germany. Additionally they would not be French concentration camps in France. The camps were not supported by the respective countries. One must distinguish between a camp supported by the people and one supported by the enemy occupiers of the people. Especially as President of the United States. We are not talking about the Mayor of some small town somewhere. Perhaps his words were unintentioned, but the result is gaffe nonetheless. If taken in a vacuum, perhaps not worth mentioning. However, taken with the other slights in the history of the Obama Presidency, it becomes more noteworthy.

    15. TJbear says:

      His apology will be all words no sincerity. He has made the United States the country of apologies, showing nothing but weakness and submissiveness. He wants us to be seen as weak and he wants us to be ashamed of our country. If he gets enough of the world angry at us we will have no one to stand with us.

      • Bobbie says:

        and isn't it abhorrent he sends his foot soldier in to apologize for him not man enough to face the people himself…

    16. MnNice (USAF/ret) says:

      Hmmmm, only 7 comments so far to this article. Anyone wondering why?

      • Bobbie says:

        my opinion: if the hackers weren't on board there'd be a lot more. Low life hackers have nothing better to do with their minds but cheat others, paid by Obama's taxpayers funding and the thief of America himself, soros. How respectfully productive! NOT!

    17. MnNice (USAF/ret) says:

      The moderators must be working overtime on this site today.

    18. polishcitizen says:

      I"m writing from Poland and I"m polish citizen.
      Long track record of insulting the Poles ? Indeed too long. Mr President did it again.
      That's very sad day for me and for all my nation. Why ? Because we still love US and in such day we all think we are so stupid.
      Are we so small that we can't be visible from THE WHITE HOUSE perspective ? perhaps.
      But President of US should remember that we aren't too small to see Washington.
      Everything what President of The USA says or does is analysing very penetratingly here.
      Would that be so difficult to sacrifice 10 minutes before the ceremony and to get a little bit more about our history ?
      Aushwitz is that in polish language ?
      "Arbeit Macht Frei" perhaps?
      No we don't have any such words in our polish language. Sorry

    19. John Snow says:

      I cannot believe this president GETS AWAY with his disgusting, insulting gaffes. Remember him trying to refer the Falkland Islands by their false, Argentine name, Islas Malvinas… and UTTERLY FAILING, calling them the Maldives. This president has insulted EVERY ally we have. Israel, Poland, UK, Honduras, Canada, Taiwan, Czech Republic… the list never ends!

    20. Grendel says:

      Can you say… 57 States!

    21. RennyG says:

      When this person makes "goofs" like this, it is not intentional?? The reason these offensive statements happen is because "he" is not concerned about what "he" is saying or who "he" offends. "He" is focused on "HIM" and his personal appearence to everyone. Now if people want to have "slick willy" back, just re-elect him!!!!!!!!!!!! Meanwhile, I will be on my knees "Praying" for him to disappear!!!!

    22. gracemarie says:

      Obama is and always was a bumbling idiot. What did he give the Queen of England?–some CD's. He has no finesse. He is what he is, definitely not President material. Hopefully, America will see it this time, and vote him out of office!!

    23. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Obama doesn't like a democratic Poland.

    24. nina says:

      this news will fade by tomorrow this time- thanks to obama's close allies, the main stream media.

    25. Obama probably can recite from memory his classes reciting the Koran; however, the massacre of Russian, Gypsy, and Jewish citizenry at the death camps have not occupied much time in the mind of a person who only pretends to back the Nation of Israel.

    26. EER says:

      I dislike Obama. I believe he is destroying America. But Obama's reference to a "Polish death camp" is factually and gramatically correct and no different from a reference to a "Canadian ski resort." Neither phrase means that the respective goverments are involved in the operation of these enterprises. Perhaps the Poles are overly sensitive because of their blatant anti-Semitism, including the mass murder of 42 Jews by a Polish mob in the city of Kielce on July 4, 1946, almost a year after the end of World War II.

    27. Nik Nichols says:

      Jimmy Carter must be a very happy man lately. Who else but Obama could without even trying make Carter's foreign policy by comparison look so sound and downright IMPRESSIVE, and without fault!
      Pres. Carter we miss you, and now we mourn our past lack of appreciation.

    28. EER says:

      I dislike Obama. I believe he is destroying America. But Obama's reference to a "Polish death camp" is factually and gramatically correct and no different from a reference to a "Canadian ski resort." Neither phrase means that the respective goverments are involved in the operation of these enterprises. Perhaps the Poles are overly sensitive because of their virulent anti-Semitism, including the mass murder of 42 Jews by a Polish mob in the city of Kielce on July 4, 1946, almost a year after the end of World War II.

    29. sam abrams says:

      As I have Polish Jewish friends who lived in Poland during and after World War II, I have no trouble at all with the idea o fa Polish Death Camp. although the Nazis murdered many Poles in the camps and altho there were a minority of Poles who helped to hide Jews, and the Polish Resistance Army supported the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising., many many Poles were virulently Anti-Semitic and collaborated in the murder of Jews. Jewish camp survivors who returned to Poland were murdered, robbed or beaten in a series of pogroms.

      Reference below-

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