Below and at this link is a petition from the Kosciuszko Foundation. I understand that those unfamiliar with the controversy may think it is no big deal, but it makes a big difference to the Poles. You can see why when you read the petition.
IMO, the lack of knowledge on this issue is appalling. I had to explain to many journalists and political staffers that the Poles were invaded by the Nazis, that they never gave in to the Nazis, that many more Poles participated in the resistance & many more died than the more famous French resistance, that Poles served in allied armies, participating as pilots in the Battle of Britain and as soldiers all over Europe, that the Warsaw uprising of 1944 held back the Nazis for two months and at the same time stalled the Soviet advance, since after encouraging the uprising Stalin’s troops paused and waited for the Nazis to destroy the Polish resistance in Warsaw, all the while not helping and in fact hindering relief efforts by others. Had it not been for this wait, the Red Army may have advanced significantly farther west, with fearful consequences for the future of freedom after the war. This is a largely forgotten history, with bravery and sacrifice unrecognized and unrewarded. Shamefully, at the end of the war Poland was subsumed by Stalin’s evil empire.
The communist government executed many of the brave resistance fighters, cynically labeling them “fascists”. The communists were also a reason why Polish bravery in the war is so unknown outside Poland. The communists systematically denigrated the efforts of Polish resistance and the Home Army (Armia Krajowa) and surviving veterans were not given any justice until Poland regained its freedom, when they were already old men and women. You can see some of them marching in the picture at above & left.
I had the extraordinary privilege of meeting heroes like Jan Nowak Jezioranski and Jan Karski. These brave men risked their lives repeatedly moving in and out of Nazi occupied territory and even into concentration camps themselves, finding evidence and trying to warn the allies about the Holocaust and the fate of civilians populations in Poland. They and the millions of Poles (civilians as well as soldiers) who fought the Nazis and died at the hands of the Nazis deserve better than to be identified with their enemies and murderers. The constant, ignorant use of the term “Polish camps” disrespects their memories. Please read and sign the petition below.
Petition on German Concentration Camps
WHEREAS the media uses the historically erroneous terms “Polish concentration camp” and “Polish death camp” to describe Auschwitz and other Nazi extermination camps built by the Germans during World War II, which confuses impressionable and undereducated readers, leading them to believe that the Holocaust was executed by Poland, rather than Nazi Germany,
WHEREAS these phrases are Holocaust revisionism that desecrate the memories of six million Jews from 27 countries who were murdered by Nazi Germany,
WHEREAS Poland was the first country invaded by Germany, and the only country whose citizens suffered the death penalty for rescuing Jews, yet never surrendered during six years of German occupation, even though one-sixth of its population was killed in the war, approximately half of which was Christian,
WHEREAS educated journalists must know these facts and not cross the libel threshold of malice by using phrases such as “Polish concentration camps.”
BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the undersigned request that The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and the Associated Press, include entries in their stylebooks requiring news stories to be historically accurate, using the official name of all “German concentration camps in Nazi-occupied Poland,” as UNESCO did in 2007 when it named the camp in Auschwitz, “The Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945).”