Talk:"Polish death camp" controversy

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Agency 114[edit]

The whole "Operations to whitewash German responsibility for World War II" section is a fake, citing very dubious sources. The "Polish death camps" term is stupid, but the concept that it was made up by Nazi intelligence is also not true. Ausir (talk)

  • I visit Polish Wikipedia only sporadically, and therefore, have limited understanding of the role and behavioural guidelines concerning the administrators there, but in the English Wiki the blanking of sections, with numerous references in it, is usually dealt with by bots without human intervention. I have never before seen an admin delete an article section without feedback...and not even a single question on the article talk page beforehand. User:Ausir lost his sysop privileges in the Polish Wiki two-and-a-half years ago,[1] but, by being an admin there, acquired similar privileges here in May 2005 no problem. Ausir was known over there for creating articles containing nothing, but a single sentence back in 2004.[2] In those days, it was OK to create 214 stubs like that over the whole year,[3] and become and admin. But I think our expectations here regarding what a sysop would do, are quite different today actually. Below is the list of in-line citations to article section "Operations to whitewash German responsibility for World War II" which were removed by Ausir in one sweep by blanking the whole thing. Please comment on them individually, by following WP:RS policy guidelines from the neutral point of view. Thanks, Poeticbent talk 16:45, 28 January 2017 (UTC)
  1. "About Simon Wiesenthal". Simon Wiesenthal Center. 2013. Section 11. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  2. Hartmann, Ralph (2010). "Der Alibiprozeß". Den Aufsatz kommentieren (in German). Ossietzky 9/2010. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  3. Klaus Eichner, Gotthold Schramm, et al (2007). Angriff und Abwehr: die deutschen Geheimdienste nach 1945, Berlin: Edition Ost (Reinhard Gehlen) p. 42. OCLC 91785168.
  4. W.P. (2011). ""Polskie obozy koncentracyjne" wymyśliły niemieckie tajne służby ("Polish death camps" invented by German secret service)". Wręcz Przeciwnie (Internet Archive). Archived from the original on 25 April 2012.

All but one of these sources do not mention anything about the supposed whitewashing, but are merely about the recruitment of former Nazis by post-war intelligence agencies. The sentences that say that they actually came up with the term "Polish death camps" are sourced only to the now-defunct website of "Wręcz Przeciwnie", an obscure Polish right-wing magazine that closed down after only 3 issues, which does not provide any sources for its revelations. Ausir (talk) 17:53, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

Thank you for the clarification. If this is so, i.e., only a single dubious source is for the main claim, then I agree with the removal. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:57, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

Can you please comment on these sources as well. They come from all over the place. Poeticbent talk 20:13, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

re #1: Says nothing about death camps Staszek Lem (talk)
re #2: A letter to the editor; no source of the wisdom provided. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:47, 2 February 2017 (UTC)
Did a brief google search and failed to find any actual serious research which linked Benzinger with the term. All was usual internets memetics. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:00, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

Further reading, re.: mentions of Alfred “Fatty” Benzinger and death camps. This needs to be researched in the Federal Archives by a willing historian, but as far as our own guidelines, wp:original research it is not:


Poeticbent talk 22:12, 2 August 2017 (UTC)


As none of the sources in this article are English grammar books and as this formation actually follows normal rules of English construction, we cannot say that it is incorrect.--Khajidha (talk) 13:51, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

This has nothing to do with grammar. "Incorrect term" means the term does not correctly describe the thing, which is exactly what article about. For example, "A cow is an evergreen animal" - "evergreen animal" is an incorrect term despite perfect grammar. Please search google for "incorrect terminology" for real examples. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:23, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Were they in Poland? Yes. Were they death camps? Yes. Then they can be correctly described as Polish death camps. It may be ambiguous, but it is not incorrect. --Khajidha (talk) 21:06, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Precisely because it is ambiguous the term is correctly described as a historical error in the sources and wikipedian's opinion in this respect is irrelevant. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:01, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
Were Jews in those camps? Yes. Were they death camps? Yes. So those were Jews Death Camps. Segatt (talk) 20:05, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Also, descriptions of the terms as "incorrect", "misleading", etc have been repeatedly removed over the years that this article has existed. --Khajidha (talk) 21:12, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Any "death camps" in any country named for its indigenous people are subject to misinterpretation. Quite frankly, I have attended seminars on the Holocaust where attendees have asked about "Polish death camps" as if the Poles created and managed them. The controversy over terminology is legitimate as it causes genuine misunderstanding of history.VєсrumЬа TALK 21:51, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
And that controversy is in the name of this article and is discussed at length. But that does not make the formulation incorrect. To use a recent example, there are many articles on the internet about the "Manchester terror attacks", but that does not mean that they were carried out by Manchester. --Khajidha (talk) 22:00, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
There is neither controversy nor misunderstanding in reliable sources about Manchester. Staszek Lem (talk) 23:43, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
It's the same formation. If one is "incorrect", then both are. But they aren't incorrect. One just happens to be misunderstood. Probably due to the difference in time between the events and now. Also possibly because the geographic area referred to is an English speaking region. The inhabitants of Manchester don't object because that phrasing is natural to them. --Khajidha (talk) 01:34, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
You seem to ignore my remark that this has nothing to do with grammatical construction. Mulitple sources cited in the article consider the term to be historical error. Staszek Lem (talk) 16:57, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
I admit that "grammar" was a poor choice of words. But to say that a phrase is "incorrect" is a point of language, not politics or historical feeling. Show me a language expert that says that "Polish death camps" cannot be understood as "death camps in Poland" and I will agree that it is incorrect. --Khajidha (talk) 11:13, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
The bare description of "Polish death camps" as a term was the stable version of this article for virtually all of 2014 and 2015 (only 2 rapidly reverted changes). The description of PDCs as a "misleading" was added in February 2016 and removed later that year. "Incorrect and controversial" was added only on the 8th of this month. I would have thought that my removal of that phrase was simply returning to the consensus version. Especially as both Staszek Lem and Mshabazz had edited the page numerous times in the last few years without objecting to the bare description of "terms". I do, however, admit that my description of this as a matter of grammar was incorrect.--Khajidha (talk) 22:08, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

I'd prefer the word misleading to incorrect. It is more clear, as it suggests what it is that's problematic. I don't see any prior discussion here that would suggest the term misleading is problematic, so I'd hope changing incorrect to misleading wouldn't be controversial? Oh, and here is a good and reliable source for the word misleading, if anyone would feel it should be referenced: [4]. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:46, 13 June 2017 (UTC)

"Misleading" was previously removed as "editorializing". Really, I don't see the need for anything more than "terms". The title indicates that there is a controversy and the article describes the controversy in detail. Adding anything to "terms" just seems like poor writing. --Khajidha (talk) 11:39, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree "misleading" is correct. "Polish death camps" in common English usage is not taken to mean German-run death camps in occupied Poland. VєсrumЬа TALK 15:02, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
That's funny, because that is EXACTLY how I've always understood it and how everyone I've talked to understood it. Or do you mean that ""Polish death camps" in English is not understood by non-native speakers to mean German-run death camps in occupied Poland"? --Khajidha (talk) 15:21, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
This is not about wikipedians' understanding. Wikipedia text is based on reliable sources, not on opinions of wikipedians. Staszek Lem (talk) 16:57, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
The whole wave of protest by Polish society is that the term is wrong. Now that we are arguing about which descriptor to use, time to stop spilling wikipedians' brains and stick to the sources. The lede cites that the term is found insulting. Which other adjectives are prominently used? Staszek Lem (talk) 16:57, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
I added a ref in lede which mentions an official statement by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council which describes is "misleading and improper". Staszek Lem (talk) 17:21, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
That's the thing, you aren't writing that some people find it improper and misleading you are saying that it is improper and misleading. --Khajidha (talk) 18:20, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
That's the thing, "some people" is a "weasel phrase", to be avoided in wikipedia. CBSC is not "some people", is is an authoritative source, which allows us to write in wikipedia that it is improper and misleading. If there is another similarly authoritative source which contradicts CBSC, you are welcome to cite it. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:26, 13 June 2017 (UTC)
Indeed. "Some" is to be avoided per WP:WTA. Unless there are reasonable grounds and sources to show that thee is a significant group of people who don't find this term problematic, we should assume that most of those interested in this issue do find it problematic. There is need for WP:UNDUE-like qualifications if there is no other party here. Since all the sources seem to agree this term is problematic, I totally support an adjective saying so. Misleading gets my vote. Improper, not so much as IMHO it has other connotations, but I am not going to object to it. Key point is the lead has to state this term is problematic. PS. ""Misleading" was previously removed as "editorializing"." - DIFF please. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 06:51, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Well, I actually meant that we could "say that some people find it improper and misleading as we already do". But that's my fault for poor phrasing. The DIFF in question was --Khajidha (talk) 11:13, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Checking back over the article's history, it started as a stub using "mistakenly" in January 2006. It was redirected and recreated several times over the next two months. "Mistakenly" was removed with the edit summary "we're non-prescriptive here" in May 2006. For the next several months the article explicitly stated that " is used to describe Nazi concentration camps located in occupied Poland ". During this time, a move to "Polish death camps (incorrect term)" was reverted. In May 2007, the adjective "derogatory" was added. It was removed in July. "Misleading" was added in July 2007, removed later that month as "more NPOV", and was then reinserted a few days later and again removed before the month was out. During this same time a move to "Polish death camps (wrong term)" was reverted as "NPOV, common sense." "Misleading" (later "incorrect misleading" for a short time) appeared in September 2007 before being removed in March 2008 with the summary "NPOV". Restored to intro the next month. "Politically charged" was added by June 2008. This was removed on 7 July 2008 with the summary "NPOV". The phrasing "descriptive terms" is used until March 2009. One user repeatedly changed it to "deceptive" and was repeatedly reverted by Malik Shabazz and Jayjg for POV reasons. A more wordy "terms that appear" version appeared later that month. Moves to ""Polish" death camps" (with scare quotes) were made and reverted in November 2009. "Controversial" was added on 17 November 2009 and was changed to "misleading" on the 28th. This was removed on 25 October 2010 as POV. "False" was added and removed as "opinion" in November 2010. "Incorrect" was added in June 2012 and removed in December 2012. "Misleading" was added on 18 February 2016 and removed on 6 November 2016 as "editorializing". "Incorrect and controversial" was readded on 8 June 2017 before being removed by me, bringing us up to now. I may have missed a few back and forth exchanges as I mostly looked at the last edit of each month and then backtracked if I found changes. --Khajidha (talk) 11:59, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Oh, and another problem with "misleading" is that that word generally implies intent. To say that someone "used misleading words" or "spoke misleadingly" implies that they meant to confuse the listener. Most of the examples given here (such as Obama's speech) were not intended to confuse. --Khajidha (talk) 13:00, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Term invented by whitewashers of Nazis?[edit]

See Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Poland#"Polish death camp" controversy. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:32, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

This opinion has been propagated by Polish historians pl:Leszek Pietrzak and pl:Grzegorz Kucharczyk in various mass media. Are there any academic publications of these historians which corroborate these opinions with real research? Otherwise their opinions is rather WP:UNDUE. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:44, 19 September 2017 (UTC)

@Staszek Lem: Not that I could find. See how I attributed this claim in Agency 114. I think we could include this claim here with such attribution, noting the claim was made by LP in a small weekly. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 05:56, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
My question is leading to a suggestion that is we don't find this claim a peer-reviewed publication, then we shall frame this statement extremely carefully as a minority guesswork or even remove it altogether per WP:UNDUE. Also IMO it is a rather extraordinary claim, and we must have an extraordinary proof. I find it easier to explain the phrase by common sloppiness rather than malevolence (Hanlon's razor). Staszek Lem (talk) 19:39, 19 September 2017 (UTC)
I more or less agree, through I think we should also email the historian in question and see if they want to comment. Maybe there is a peer reviewed if obscure academic publication we couldn't find. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 09:58, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Per WP:BURDEN and WP:EXTRAORDINARY, I am about to delete this piece from the article (an from Agency 114). In is not good for Wikipedia, due to its visibility, to propagate fringe theories. Staszek Lem (talk) 16:58, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
  • Please remember, Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk who is a notable author (quoted by Helen Lewis, below) is not a conspiracy theorist:
  1. Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk (23.01.2017), "The Polish concentration camps were invented by functionaries of FRG intelligence" ("Polskie obozy koncentracyjne" wymyślili funkcjonariusze wywiadu RFN.") Rzeczpospolita @
  2. Prof. Kucharczyk, "Misleading phrase 'Polish concentration camps' invented by functionaries of FRG intelligence who earlier worked for the Third Reich" (Kłamliwy termin „polskie obozy koncentracyjne” stworzyli funkcjonariusze wywiadu RFN, którzy wcześniej pracowali dla III Rzeszy.) Polityka: NASZ WYWIAD.
  3. Helen Lewis (2017-02-18), "Brief an Hans-Christian Ströbele." Dziennik Berliński. Manche Historiker, darunter Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk behaupten sogar, dass der Begriff „polnisches Konzentrationslager“ von dem ehemaligen Nazi Alfred Benzinger von der Dienststelle 114 des westdeutschen Geheimdienstes eingeführt wurde, um in dieser Weise die globale Wahrnehmung der deutschen Täterschaft im Zweiten Weltkrieg von Deutschland auf Polen und „staatenlose Nazis“ zu verschieben.
    Google Translate: Some historians, including Prof. Grzegorz Kucharczyk, even claimed that the term "Polish concentration camp" was introduced by the former Nazi Alfred Benzinger from Agency 114 of the West German intelligence in order to gain an insight into the global perception of German Nazi participation in the Second World War in Poland as "stateless Nazis".
Poeticbent talk 18:01, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
    • I don't care who Kucharczyk is, if there is no scholarly indication of his source of wisdom. Just as well, he may be as gullible as wikipedians here; he may have trusted his colleague or this theory hit his sweet spot, and did not bother to question him. NOt to say that the statements " the term "Polish concentration camp" was introduced by the former Nazi " and Polskie obozy koncentracyjne" wymyślili funkcjonariusze wywiadu RFN are plain false, which indicates the non-reliability of the sources. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:53, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
    • P.S. Re; Notablity of Kucharczyk: I doubt you cared to look inquisitively into what you linked. Even if notable (I say marginally) his area of expertise is way off the mark. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:04, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
      • Per my comments at WT:POLAND, I am much less convinced that this claim is reliable then I was at first. It seems it was made in a low profile non-peer reviewed magazine by a low-profile historian. If it is repeated by a slightly more reliable historian in another niche portal, well... as I said, at best we can attribute, nothing that those claims where made in said portals/magazines. And honestly, I agree with SL: this seems more like baseless claim then proper research. Until those claims are published in proper, scholarly reliable sources I think they fail WP:UNDUE. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 09:09, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

Is any action being taken to at least make it clear that this is not accepted history but the theory of a few Polish historians? (talk) 18:42, 26 January 2018 (UTC)

Either find a reliable source (peer-review) or delete.--APStalk 19:08, 28 January 2018 (UTC)


Months have passed and it still seems like no one has found a reliable source to the claim. To delete or not to delete, that is the question.

  • delete until a peer-reviewed source is found.--APStalk 19:10, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Delete. Claim not backed up by reliable sources, per my statement above, published in a non-peer reviewed, niche, popular science outlet, likely invented by a low-key scholar who wanted to say something 'cool'. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 15:25, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Delete - until there is a good source for this. Seems to me that if this were publishable (i.e. based on a shred of actual archive evidence) - it would be a paper that would be very easy to publish.Icewhiz (talk) 15:37, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Delete; claim without reliable support. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:37, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

Just for reference, this article in Spiegel-Online references this very subject as a conspiracy theory in Poland:

"Hinter der Empörung verbirgt sich die Angst der Polen, dass ihnen mit der Verwendung solcher Begriffe eine Verantwortung für den Holocaust zugeschrieben wird. Im Land zirkulieren Verschwörungstheorien, laut denen etwa der BND bereits vor Jahrzehnten begonnen hat, mit einer gezielten Kampagne das deutsche Volk von seiner Schuld reinzuwaschen."
"Behind the outrage [over the use of the phrase "Polish concentration camps"] is the fear of the poles that the use of such terms places the responsibility for the Holocaust on them. Conspiracy theories circulate in the country according to which the BND for instance had begun a coordinated campaign decades ago to wash the German people clean of guilt"

I don't know how Wikipedia regards Spiegel-Online in terms of sources, but this at least suggests that the idea is not taken seriously outside of Poland. (talk) 21:15, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

Criticism, Israeli reactions[edit]

Now that the pharase 'Polish death camps' has been outlawed in Poland, there have been all kinds of controversies that should be covered in the article. From 'freedom of speech ones' to 'It's Poles who ran deathcamps' ones. Believe it or not the latter are being implied by current Israeli officials.

I don't have much time to at hand, so I have only added a little information. The article seems very biased. Israeli officials do actually claim, that outlawing the term Polish death camps might be a form of Holocaust denial. The Prime Minister of Israel even stated, that history can't be rewritten. It is undeniable that Germany was the main and major force behind the Holocaust! No one is questioning that (well, no one intelligent). Another undeniable fact is that Polish people actually helped the Nazis. According to Yair Lapid, a Minister of Israel: "I utterly condemn the new Polish law which tries to deny Polish complicity in the Holocaust. It was conceived in Germany but hundreds of thousands of Jews were murdered without ever meeting a German soldier. There were Polish death camps and no law can ever change that."--APStalk 11:23, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
The phrase hasn't been outlawed; a bill that would outlaw it passed one chamber of the Polish parliament. The amount of text you added concerning the bill and the Israeli reaction was completely inappropriate. See WP:UNDUE and WP:NOTNEWS. — MShabazz Talk/Stalk 15:50, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Yad Vashem's condemnation of this holocaust denial is far from UNDUE. Nor is mentioning the complicity of the local Polish population (as well as outright massacres of Jews by Poles - before and right after the war) UNDUE. If the Polish government is outraged about the use of "Polish Death Camps", then some context of the Polish role in the Holocaust is more than due.Icewhiz (talk) 16:13, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree with you about Yad Vashem, but I think you might want to look at the history of the page. Five paragraphs about the bill were added, including two in the lead section. For a bill that has not (yet) been passed into law. — MShabazz Talk/Stalk 16:36, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
Note that this isn't a "new outrage" - it has been going on for a number of years - e.g. this piece from 2016 [5] - as well as the connected denial of Polish pogroms by various Polish politicians in recent years. I agree a bit too much was added for the reaction cycle in January 2018. However - the article was seriously misrepresenting the Jewish and Israeli positions here (which viewed "Polish Death Camp" as incorrect - but also viewed diminishing of the Polish role in the Holocaust (which is also outlawed by this proposed bill) as highly offensive).Icewhiz (talk) 16:41, 28 January 2018 (UTC)
You seem to have a very biased view on this matter. Wile the most of the page is the opinion of different journalists, you delete the only quote of the Israeli Parliament. It does seem like you want to bias the article in one direction.--APStalk 17:16, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

Icewhiz you use the word "complicity". This is ill-advised. The National Socialists killed 2.8 million non-Jew Poles,[1] or 11% of the ethnic Polish population. The Poles were under the gun of the National Socialists for 5 years. Helping anyone being persecuted by the National Socialists, whether Christian or a Jew, was likely to get you and your family killed, and in fact got 2.8 million ethnic Poles killed (by comparison, 2.9 million Polish Jews got killed as well). To cast aspersions of the Polish people as a whole during the period of National Socialist invasion is completely unfair.XavierItzm (talk) 06:38, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

I'm following the sources here - Yad Vashem: Poland Holocaust law risks ‘serious distortion’ of Polish complicity, Opinion I Used to Care About Polish Sensitivity to Charges of Holocaust Complicity. Not Anymore. The "truth" here is more complex - many Poles were involved in a parallel struggle against the Nazis - however this did not mean they were friendly necessarily to the Jews - Did the Polish Underground Save Jews During WWII?, Conversely, he found, most Holocaust survivors view the Polish underground as not only anti-Semitic but complicit in the genocide of European Jews. The great gap in perception is wide even among Polish and Jewish scholars, Zimmerman says. (so both being oppressed by the Nazis, did not make them friends). And not all Poles resisted - as in France - many were aligned with the new administration (post WWII - societies attempt to downplay this). And yes - there are many Polish Righteous Among the Nations as well. In any cases - whatever it is (complicity, assistance to Jews, resistance to Nazies, etc.) - not all Poles did whatever - different individuals did different things.Icewhiz (talk) 06:51, 29 January 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Wojciech Materski, Tomasz Szarota (2009), "Polska 1939–1945. Straty Osobowe i Ofiary Represji pod Dwiema Okupacjami (Human Losses and Victims of Repressions under Two Occupations)". Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2016. . Retrieved 27 October 2014. Quote: Łączne straty śmiertelne ludności polskiej pod okupacją niemiecką oblicza się obecnie na ok. 2 770 000. Translation: Current estimate is roughly 2,770,000 victims of German occupation. This was 11.3% of the 24.4 million ethnic Poles in prewar Poland.

Restructered the article[edit]

I have added sections and subsections to make the article better to read.--APStalk 18:33, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

Israels opinion[edit]

I have added Israels opinion: the term is a misrepresentation.-APStalk 18:33, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

Historical context[edit]

I have added some information, where I have pointed out that the Polish did a lot to help the Jews. I used US Holocaust Memorial Museum as a source.--APStalk 18:33, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

Historical context[edit]

Termin „Polskie Obozy Koncentracyjne” Wymyśliły Niemieckie Tajne Służby

Na początku 1956 r. Alfred Benzinger, były nazista, a zarazem szef tajnej zachodnioniemieckiej komórki kontrwywiadowczej „Agencja 114”, wpadł na pomysł jak zmniejszyć odium ciążące na Niemcach za wojnę i Holokaust Żydów.

Benzinger (zwany „Grubasem”) zaproponował, aby rozpocząć w mediach propagowanie terminu „polskie obozy koncentracyjne” w odniesieniu do niemieckich obozów zagłady na terytorium Polski.

„Odrobina fałszu w historii, po latach może łatwo przyczynić się do wybielenia historycznej odpowiedzialności Niemiec za Zagładę” – przekonywał.

Plan zyskał wysoką ocenę i akceptację Reinharda Gehlena, szefa zachodnioniemieckiego wywiadu (nazywanego wówczas Organizacją Gehlena).

Rozpoczęta wówczas operacja zrzucania winy na Polaków odniosła sukces, o którym nie marzył twórca.

Tylko w tym roku trzy wysokonakładowe niemieckie gazety użyły sformułowania „polski obóz koncentracyjny”.

Na świecie było takich przypadków kilkadziesiąt.

Esesmani do zadań specjalnych

Agencja 114 była jedną z najbardziej tajnych komórek wywiadu. Głównie, dlatego, że zajmowała się rozpracowywaniem radzieckich agentów. Do tych celów Benzinger potrzebował sprawdzonych i pewnych ludzi.

Dlatego zatrudniał praktycznie wyłącznie byłych członków Gestapo, SS i SD, w tym zbrodniarzy wojennych takich jak Konrad Fiebig, oskarżony o mord 11 tys. białoruskich Żydów, czy Walter Kurreck z szwadronu śmierci SS Einsatzgruppe D, odpowiedzialny za dziesiątki tysięcy mordów na wschodzie.

Kiedy w latach 50. Brytyjska prasa napisała o „Gestapo boys” zatrudnianych przez niemiecki wywiad, szczegółowo o sprawie został poinformowany kanclerz Adenauer. 1 grudnia 1953 r. Gehlen przedstawił w tej sprawie raport komisji ds. bezpieczeństwa Bundestagu.

Poinformował, że 40 jego pracowników ma za sobą przeszłość w Służbie Bezpieczeństwa Reichsführera SS.

Dyskretnie przemilczał fakt, że stworzył cała armię swoich tajnych współpracowników rekrutujących się z byłych zbrodniarzy.

W tym tak „wybitnych” jak szef Gestapo w Lyonie i SS-Hauptsturmführer Klaus Barbie, znany jako „Kat z Lyonu”, który został w 1947 r. zaocznie skazany we Francji na karę śmierci. Jako Klaus Altaman został zwerbowany przez wywiad Gehlena (nadano mu pseudonim „Adler”, nr rejestracyjny V- 43118).

Dostarczał on ważnych informacji o sytuacji politycznej w Ameryce Południowej. Wszyscy z nich byli oceniani przez Gehlena, jako „zdecydowani antykomuniści” o „rdzennie niemieckim światopoglądzie”.

mw-camps1944Geniusze public relations

Pod koniec lat 50. zespół tych wybitnych fachowców stanął przed trudnym zadaniem poprawy wizerunku Niemiec. Stawką było nie tylko dobre imię nowego państwa, ale także pieniądze. Na przykład przez pewien czas po wojnie w krajach dotkniętych wojną nikt nie chciał kupować niemieckich towarów.

Gehlen i jego ludzie zastanawiali się jakie działania propagandowe podjąć, aby temu zaradzić. Opracowanie planu (dziś użylibyśmy sformułowania kampanii reklamowej) Gehlena polecił swoim najbardziej zaufanym ludziom, pracownikom Agencji 114.

To oni pod kierownictwem Benzingera, „Grubasa” opracowali koncepcję, aby posłużyć się semantyczną manipulacją i wprowadzić do obiegu medialnego termin polskie obozy zagłady.

Zarzuty o manipulację postanowiono odpierać tłumaczeniem, że taki właśnie termin jest skrótem odnoszącym się do hitlerowskich obozów zagłady w Polsce. W rzeczywistości jednak termin „polski obóz koncentracyjny” subtelnie zmieniał ofiary, w tym wypadku Polaków, w sprawców.

Początkowo terminem tym zaczęły posługiwać się opiniotwórcze niemieckie media: głównie gazety i stacje telewizyjne (w tym celo szeroko wykorzystywano agenturę w tych środowiskach).

Dość szybko termin ten został przeniesiony do USA. Władze komunistycznego PRL nie przywiązywały do tej sprawy żadnej wagi.

Uznały, że jest to jedynie przejaw imperialistycznej propagandy. Unormowanie stosunków polsko-niemieckich w 1970 r. zepchnęło problem semantycznego kłamstwa ludzi Gehlena na dalszy plan. Tymczasem operacja odniosła niebywały sukces, a kłamstwo rzucone przez byłych esesmanów było coraz częściej powtarzane.

Pożyteczne kłamstwo

Sprawa polskich obozów koncentracyjnych wróciła z nową siłą, gdy w 1989 r. Polska odzyskała niepodległość. Miało to w znacznej mierze związek z problemem restytucji zrabowanego przez komunistów mienia, które w dużej części dotyczyło Żydów zamieszkałych kiedyś w Polsce (lub ich krewnych). Relacjonując problem amerykańskie media zaczęły „przy okazji” ponownie operować terminem stworzonym przez ludzi Gehlena.

Od tej pory wszedł on na trwałe w obieg informacyjny. W ostatnich latach według polskiego MSZ termin polskich obozów koncentracyjnych został użyty kilkaset razy w zagranicznych mediach i stacjach telewizyjnych. Szczególnie często termin ten był stosowany w odniesieniu do nazistowskiego obozu Auschwitz – Birkenau.

Jednostkowe interwencje polskich placówek dyplomatycznych nie odnoszą pożądanego skutku. Ich skuteczność można porównać do zwalczania komarów przy pomocy kapcia: można liczyć na pojedyncze sukcesy, ale wojny w ten sposób się nie wygra. Największym polskim sukcesem w tej sprawie był fakt, że w 2007 r. kwestią tą zajęła się ONZ i zmieniono nazwę obozu Auschwitz na „Auschwitz-Birkenau. Niemiecki nazistowski obóz koncentracyjny i zagłady (1940 – 45)”.

obozyPropagandowego sukcesu pozazdrościli Niemcom najlepsi spece od dezinformacji na świecie – Rosjanie. 24 maja 2011 r. rosyjska telewizja publiczna ORT w głównym wydaniu wiadomości pokazała reportaż na temat „polskich obozów koncentracyjnych”, w których zgładzono rzekomo 30 tys. jeńców sowieckich z wojny polsko-bolszewickiej 1920 r. Cel akcji Rosjan jest jasny.

Tak często powtarzać termin „polskie obozy koncentracyjne”, aż uzyska się międzynarodowy rezonans. Opinia międzynarodowa, a zwłaszcza operujące terminem polskich obozów koncentracyjnych media światowe, nie zauważą różnicy pomiędzy obozami jeńców sowieckich z lat 20. (których nikt nie mordował) i niemieckimi obozami koncentracyjnymi w Polsce w czasie II wojny światowej.

Wszystkie staną się „polskimi obozami koncentracyjnymi”, albo „polskimi obozami śmierci”, a to skutecznie popsuje wizerunek Polski w świecie. Zwłaszcza, że dla młodych ludzi na całym świecie cała prawda o II wojnie światowej ogranicza się do kilku zdań z Twittera i Internetu, a te najczęściej mówią o polskich obozach koncentracyjnych.,jak-niemcy-polakow-wrabiali-w-mordowanie-zydow+&cd=3&hl=pl&ct=clnk&gl=pl&client=firefox-a



I tried to be neutral. Hope it works.--APStalk 18:33, 28 January 2018 (UTC)

Sorry but "Other provisions of the bill caused an international controversy." suggest more than is really in this bill. Provide example or remove.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Yes the phrasing was sloppy. In fact, "death camps" were not directly mentioned in the bill. It is the commentators who remark that the phrase constitutes the offense. The bill itself has no specifics and relegates the decision to the courts. Staszek Lem (talk) 03:32, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
A) I didn't use this phrasing, so why do you concern me with it? And B) I guess that whoever wrote it actually added a source with evidence.--APStalk 11:24, 30 January 2018 (UTC)


The "legislation" section goes beyond article scope. "Polish death camp" is only part thereof. Therefore the part about outrage is mostlly irrelevant to this article. Therefore, per WP:COATRACK this text does not belong to this article. I understand this is an important issue which got international attention. Therefore please write a separate article on this new subject. The subject of current article has enough of its own controversy and better not to mix them. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:32, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

Article title suggestions (per quick google search): Poland Holocaust law and Polish Holocaust bill. The official name is Amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:40, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

These are clearly connected by RS. Perhaps a new Polish outlawing of Polish complicity in the Holocaust is also appropriate.Icewhiz (talk) 20:43, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
Of course they are connected, because the bill directly speaks about the term. However the controversy is not about death camps, but about another part. Therefore I am saying that it belongs to another article. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:56, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
BTW, Your suggested title is nonsense. Please don't invent titles. Use what is used in reliable sources. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:58, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
And first and foremost this article must actually summarize the bill. Right now it is completely unclear what the heck is this fuss about. The media fo as far as witjh titles kinda "Israel defends the term "Polish death camps". And Wikipedia is not helpful in this respect. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:50, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
Another important aspect is that the bill is not finalized, and it is quite possible it will be amended after criticism. It was in the works for over a year and a half, but the shit hit the fan in the last minute. It is possible that Polish lawmakers are to blame for insufficient publicity. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:50, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
Sources covering tying this to denial of polish complicity date back a while, e.g. coverage from 2012 by ADL chief coverage from 2016. Coverage connecting this controversy with modern Polish efforts to whitewash complicity as well as outright Polish wwwii atrocities such as the Jedwabne pogrom are long standing in Jewish sources and should be clearly present in this article. Note that Foxman's comments in 2012 tying the two predate the bill.Icewhiz (talk) 21:36, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
This article is about a specific controversy. Any material concerning the Holocaust in Poland may be included here only from sources which specifically discuss the usage of the phrase, per WP:SYNTH. Now, is Foxman objecting or defending the phrase? (It does not matter that the source discusses the phrase. The source may speak of Cabbages and Kings and stuff, so what?) Staszek Lem (talk) 21:39, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
non Polish coverage clealrly ties the two. Poland And The Death Camps: Setting The Record Straight, 2012 Jewish Week, Abe H. Foxman And then during World War II there was the combination of Polish complicity and indifference as Jews were rounded up and taken to the gas chambers. And the horrible massacre of Jews by Poles at Jedwabne in 1941 also scarred those years.. Your removal of sourced content of non-Polish sources covering this issue is a gross violation of NPOV - non-Polish coverage has long tied this issue to Polish complicity and atrocities in the Holocaust - while recognizing that the term is inaccurate (all be it, usually used by non-knowledgeable commentators in an inadvertant manner). This article is not Polish government views on the use of "Polish death camps" by others. Foxman is both a very notable figure and an expert on anti-Jewish sentiment and he is directly addressing the subject of "Polish death camps" (the title is setting the record straight) in response to Obama's use of the term - and he clearly makes the connectio. So has just about every other Jewish coverage (as well as non Jewish coverage outside of Poland) of this subject.Icewhiz (talk) 21:54, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
No it does not tie the two. At least the quotation you cite does not. Please provide a quotation which clearly ties the two. The fact that two things are discussed in one text does not mean that they must be discussed in the same Wikipedia article. The two things in question are (1) the usage of the phrase "Polish death camps" and (2) the participation of the Poles in the Holocaust. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:01, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
The two are discussed jointly in any serious non-Polish source discussing the matter -before the bill and of course after the bill that would outlaw in Poland any discussiin (death camps or pogrom) of Polish complicity in Nazi actions. The sources I provided clealrly tie the two, and I am going to reintroduce this to the article - Wikipedia does not solely reflect the positiin of the government of Poland.Icewhiz (talk) 05:16, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Wikipedia does not care how they are discussed. In Wikipedia, each article is discussing its own subject. And of course you are talking nonsense: the bill would NOT outlaw complicity of Poles. It outlaws putting responsibility of the whole Polish nation. For you to be clear, this is similar to outlawing the phrases such as "the Afroamericans are lazy bums" (but the phrase "Leroy is a lazy asshole" is OK). Of course, there is a danger that the legislation may be abused. But this is a different issue. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:05, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Please define "Polish complicity". The law says about the nation, not about individuals. If a US citizen kills his wife, do we name it an "US crime", "US complicity in war of sexes"?
British police deported Jews from Channel Islands. What about British complicty? US volunteers joined Waffen SS. US complicity? Holywood delivered censored films to Nazi Germany, Sweden delivered iron ore, Swiss and Sweden returned Jewish refugess, the same the USA (St. Louis ship).
Jewish police and ghetto administration participated in the Holocaust, didn't Hannah Arendt write about the subject? I don't accuse the Jews, they tried to survive the German hell. But many Poles also tried too survive terrorized by Germans, local criminals, partizans, robbed by starving Jewish refugees.
Now everyone is heroic, emphatic. Xx236 (talk) 09:17, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Polish in the sense of Polish nationals. In this case, per the sources, there was both widespread complicity (e.g. handing over Jews to the Nazis, assisting in the function of government) and outright atrocities carried out by Poles as a group - e.g. Jedwabne pogrom, Szczuczyn pogrom (which involved Polish police that was not yet under Nazi control). Certainly circumstances were hard in WWII. Not everyone was exemplary. Jews sold out other Jews, and other nations do not have clean records as well. However, in most nations, it is not a crime to say this about individuals or groups and the state is not involved in suppression of information.Icewhiz (talk) 12:37, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Interesting that German genocide operators become Nazi and people in multinational Poland "Polish".
So we will write "Polish death camps in the sense of Polish nationals"? Thank you master.
"Certainly circumstances were hard in WWII" - please inform the YadVashem about your opinion.
The state of Israel supresses informations. If Israel supresses it's O.K., if Poland it's wrong. BTW lies don't contain informations. Xx236 (talk) 12:52, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

I agree that the bill needs a standalone article. But as you can read in all mass media coverage: the term polish death camps is part of the bill and therefore criticized. Removing all content of this article but the lead section is wrong. A section should still be part of the article. And then a redirection to the other article.--APStalk 11:21, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Is not. Lem already has informed about it above.
A memeber of Polish government explained that such solution would have allowed statements of the type "Auschwitz guards were Polish".(they were German or Austrian).Xx236 (talk) 12:40, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Yet another Jewish politician chips in: -> Shall we mention such (mistaken) voices herein? Zezen (talk) 12:28, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

This is encyclopedia, not newswire. We need to use secondary sources which summarize various positions. We cannot include each and every babble of each and every politician, most of which are malinformed and driven by various reasons, most of which are far from delivering truth. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:18, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

"The other side of the coin" - please respect the victims and other editors[edit]

I don't see any "coin" here. The Shoah was a piramide of terror with Germans on the top, collaborators (French, Czech, Slovak, Spanish, Hungarian, Romanian...) in the middle and Poles below. Jews, Roma nad Soviet P.O.W.s were to die, so they envied Poles. Now you reduce the Shoa to Polish-Jewish conflicts. Xx236 (talk) 13:11, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

The holocaust was far from a Jewish-Polish conflict. And yes - Poles were victims as well in WWII (of Soviets, Germany, betrayal of the west - in 1939 and in 1944-6 (to the Soviets), the German occupation and conflict with Ukrainians - e.g. Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia). And yes - Nazi Germany was the main perpetrator of the Holocaust (with some notable accomplices (e.g. Ukrainian collaborationism with the Axis powers, and some less notable accomplices). However - it was not the only one. I am following the sources here - and the Polish role in the holocaust is covered in them in relation to the "Polish death camp" controversy.Icewhiz (talk) 13:54, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
History is not black or white. It is clear that most Poles were victims too and that Poles have the highest help rate towards Jews under the Holocaust. But it is undeniable that there is another side of the coin: Jews fleeing the Nazis and being killed by Poles. We have both aspects in the article and it was both covered by historians and trustworthy news outlets.--APStalk 20:06, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
So can we also blame Jews for helping in Holocaust, because there were some Jews that helped Germans in catching other Jews? 22:04, 3 February 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

were killed by the Germans during World War II[edit]

It's unprecize. The Germans designed and controlled the Holocaust but also used collaborators (Trawniki men, Lithuanian volunteers in Paneriai). Xx236 (talk) 13:32, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Fixed thanks. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:24, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

appeared to have denied[edit]

'appeared to have denied' - is the language encyclopedic?
Both crimes were committed under occupations - Jedwabne German one and Kielce Soviet, so according to Hague convention the occupants were legally responsible. The occupants destroied Polish police allowing criminal actions.
The IPN researched both crimes and its opinions are valid, not opinions of politicians. As far as I know the Jedwabne results were internationally accepted. Machcewicz nad Persak are respected academicians, Machcewicz has been removed from his post by the current "nationalistic" government.
The Kielce pogrom conspiracy theory has been published in Israel, when no such discussion was possible in Communist Poland.
The Kielce pogrom was started by armed Communist policemen and soldiers, it was continued during hours in a town where many Communist army units and Soviet army units were available. The local government was probably opportunistic because of the Polish people's referendum, 1946.Xx236 (talk) 13:52, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
The perpetrators in Jedwabne pogrom were Polish. The connection here isn't made by politicians - e.g. Efraim Zuroff a historian of the holocaust - “Progress was made under previous governments toward confronting the Jedwabne massacre, which is emblematic of other pogroms by Poles against Jews,” Zuroff said. “The current right-wing government wants to turn back the page and rewrite it as it used to be.” [6]. Non-Polish sources do not attribute this to the Germans. In the lesser known Szczuczyn pogrom, by the way, Germans were not involved at all (the Gestapo didn't take control yet, the town was controlled by the local government and police) - in fact the Jews actually appealed to the passing German soldiers to stop the massacre by the Poles - and a passing unit intervened and stopped the massacre (the surviving Jews were subsequently mostly killed by the Nazis - in August in the town, and subsequently in Treblinka).Icewhiz (talk) 14:02, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
This article is not about The Holocaust in Poland, which has its own article. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:50, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Use of Polish MFA (and other government sources)[edit]

As the Polish government is on the one hand a WP:PRIMARY WP:BIASED source, and not a source that would qualify as WP:RS for anything beyond what the Polish MFA is saying - and on the other hand we have no lack of reporting by top-notch mainstream RS on the issue at hand - we should not be sourcing from the MFA for anything that might be contested - e.g. Communique of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on amendment of the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance should not be used to source anything in the article with the exception of a sentence saying "The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said..." - and even in that case, a secondary source would be preferred.Icewhiz (talk) 21:22, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

That's nonsense. The one an only true and reliable source about the law is the law itself. The rest is its interpretations and opinions and must be explicitly specified as such. Unless the source comes from legal experts. The "top notch sources" even did not read the law. For example nowhere in the law "Polish death camps" are mentioned. Nowehere in the law the complicity of the Poles is forbidden to be discussed. Therefore these "top notch" sources cannot be reliable sources, since they cannot even keep the facts straight. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:45, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
@Staszek Lem: - the person not discussing is you - I'm taking this to the NPOV board.Icewhiz (talk) 21:42, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Please read WP:BRD. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:46, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
To the contrary - you are acting in violation of BRD - by introducing text to the lead (!) sourced to the Polish MFA which is not a RS.Icewhiz (talk) 21:56, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Polish MFA is the author of the bill and hence the ultimate authority on its content. Please prove that the statement incorrectly summarizes the bill. And on the contrary, it is easily fact-checked that the text you replaced is false. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:02, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
The Polish MFA is not the author of the bill, but rather a representative of the author, however that inaccuracy aside regarding the MFA - the author of a highly contested bill is not a reliable source for what the bill would actually achieve. They might be a RS for what they are saying they think it will achieve - however we would typically source to a third-party reliable secondary source.Icewhiz (talk) 22:13, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
what the bill would actually achieve - Wise words. However this must be covered in the article about the bill itself. This article must have two parts: (A) (A1) what bill actually says (A2) what was the intention of the bill and (B) what people think how the bill will be misused - happens all the time :-(. But first, this must be discussed in the article about the bill. And second, this must be discussed in scholarly way, with arguments, and not with angry rants of pissed off politicians. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:57, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Non-Polish historians and journalists are arguing this in a cool manner - and have been criticizing the Polish government campaign due to alleged whitewashing of Polish complicity since before the new bill (e.g. Foxman in 2012 - [7], or the stripping of awards from Holocaust historian in early 2016 - [8], and from the moment this bill has started to emerge in 2016). These are not "angry rants of pissed off politicians" (which also have some weight) - but the opinion of just about every non-Polish expert on the subject. The bill is tied to the "death camp" issue as are the previous whitewashing campaigns - and the sources clearly tie them.Icewhiz (talk) 07:00, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Henceforth, Icewhiz, may I rely on you not to accept the use of Israeli government propaganda sources in articles related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Certainly Israel has much more at stake in that conflict, and hence a much greater conflict of interest, than the Polish government has in this bill. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 03:29, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

It depends on the situation - however if we have sourcing from the Washington Post and Reuters (as we do here - as well as plethora of world class sources) - we would usually not use the Israeli MFA unless we were making an attributed statement ("The Israeli government says/denies that..."). I'm not sure I ever introduced a MFA source (of any nation) to an article.Icewhiz (talk) 07:21, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
I have written in Talk:Poland and Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_236#Are_any_government_data_reliable? almost the same Icewhiz does here. I meant numbers but the problem is similar, any politicians manipulate the truth.
Regarding the Polish bill, Israel politicians are fighting before elections, the Polish ones don't have any internal problems. Xx236 (talk) 07:45, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
Yad Vashem is not facing election, nor are the many non-politicians discussing this (including most holocaust historians) or reputable outlets such as the Washington Post and Reuters (or Israeli Ha'aretz). The outrage here is fairly unanimous. We should, in my mind, for the most part avoid statements by politicians (Polish, Israeli, or otherwise) unless such statements are extremely notable.Icewhiz (talk) 08:17, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
Is cool ignorance acceptable beacause it's cool?
The Polish responsibility for the Holocaust is the same like the Jewish responsibility for ... (please put here any word you want, eg. capitalism).
Some people believe that the whole Central-Eastern Europe colaborated are wrong, Poland didn't act like Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Poland fought Nazi Germany 1939-1945. Many Poles committed crimes against Jews, against Polish underground state, but such criminality was different than state organized genocides.
According to Hague conventions the German occupant was responsible for all crimes including eg. the Volhynia mass murders of Poles. Please don't create your new law system to punish Poles only.
As far as I know in the U.S.A. a person may admit to be guilty and obtains a milder punishment or to have a trial. So I want a trial, I will never accept that Poland was guilty, my family certainly wasn't. Xx236 (talk) 07:41, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

Edits by Icewhiz[edit]

The text " would allegedly criminalize mentioning Polish complicity in crimes committed during the Holocaust, including the use of "Polish death camps" as well." is an easily provable falsehood twist coming from persons who clearly did not read the bill itself. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:49, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

WaPo, Reuters, Smithsonian, and just about every non-Polish - trumps statements by Polish officials.Icewhiz (talk) 21:55, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
No they do not, if it is easy do demonstrate that their description is false. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:57, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
I haven't seen such a demonstration - which would be WP:OR regardless. Washington Post trumps Polish MFA - or a Wikipedia's editor's analysis. When it is not just WaPo - but coverage of this issue in just about every non-Polish RS dating back to 2016 or so (when this bill started rolling seriously - prior suppression of holocaust complicity by the ruling Polish part has also been covered in prior years but not in relation to the non-existent bill) - it is fairly obvious that this is the mainline interpenetration. We could say that the Polish MFA disputes what just about every non-Polish holocaust historian and RS says about the matter.Icewhiz (talk) 22:22, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
  • ."(restore sourced content. Jewish and Israeli position should be reflected in lede just as much if not more than the modern Polish view.)" -- This article is not about The Holocaust in Poland, but about the specific term. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:57, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
  • (Source to what RS is saying about the bill - not what the Polish MFA is saying to justify this. Added allegedly.) -- We are not obliged to collect everything uttered by politically bias sources. An encyclopedia is supposed to describe this bill in its exact words, not how they are twisted by the opponents. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:03, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
  • (→‎Historical context: Restore content that is reliably sourced, not SYNTH/OR in relation to the topic of this article (as much of section here is). If at all - this should be expanded to properly balance this overly glowing background section.) -- Unnecessary detail which belongs to The Holocaust in Poland and specific articles wikilinked. By the way, you removed about 70% of the "glowing" from the article already, and I did not object. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:59, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
    1. ‎Jewish and Israeli views - these should be given equal or possibly greater weight than the inner position of Polish society. In terms of actual RS English coverage - they are getting more weight. All views stated in the lead and in the article were made in relation to the "polish death camp" issue - and covered as part of the issue.
    2. ‎Historical context - I did not remove 70%. I did remove some poorly sourced material from a section that read like a puff piece glorifying the non-involvement of Poles in the Holocaust - which is clearly disputed per any non-Polish source. What remains is still poorly sourced, poorly connected to the article, and reliant on Polish POV. As Kielce and Jedwabne are covered in any historical overview that treats "Polish death camps" - they should be in. As should other sources regarding complicity of Poles in the holocaust that are mentioned in conjuction with "Polish death camps". I left out atrocities such as Szczuczyn pogrom as they are not covered as an item in conjunction with "Polish death camps".Icewhiz (talk) 22:19, 30 January 2018 (UTC) "When Israel Ignorantly Blames the Holocaust on the Poles, It Boosts Their Illiberal Nationalists" - it's Haaretz, not Polish nationalists. Ignorantly - hallo! Xx236 (talk) 07:21, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
In Israel and the Unites states one may discuss this freely. I'll further note that Yair Lapid (who incidentally failed to complete his high school education) has been widely criticized for his knee-jerk response of "There were Polish death camps and no law can ever change that" on twitter - which most viewed as inappropriate (see for instance coverage here - It’s complicated: Inaccuracies plague both sides of ‘Polish death camps’ debate). However Lapid wasn't the only one, this journalist - HOW I BECAME PUBLIC ENEMY NO. 1 IN POLAND did so from a more informed angle (as a protest - as he clearly says in this piece, he admits the camps were Nazi run - but he was protesting the attempt to censor and criminalize).07:38, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  • News outlets agree with Icewhiz: "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that his country could not tolerate a proposed law in Poland that distances Warsaw from responsibility for the Holocaust. Israel also summoned Poland's deputy ambassador to express its outrage."[1][2] There are multiple reliable sources who accuse Poland for white washing history as well.[3][4][5]--APStalk 20:15, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
There are also opinions, that Israeli politicians have used the law instrumentally in Israeli elections. Strange that you don't see such opinions.Xx236 (talk) 08:25, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
Bring such opinions. Note that the previous round of coverage, in 2016, was one year after the election and that presently while there is a bit of an election "atmosphere" - Israeli elections are still slated to be held in Nov 2019 which is still a year and a half away (though this may change). In my own mind, any time a politician opens his mouth he talks to his base - however in this case I haven't seen such coverage in Israeli or English sources - it might exist in the Polish sources. Condemnation by Israeli and Jewish sources are pretty much unanimous - I haven't seen anyone speaking in favor of the new Polish legislation - reactions range from Lapid's (and some journalists) crass and possibly offensive remarks of "there were Polish death camps" to "death camps are a wrong term, BUT the law will suppress X and diminishes Y" - and this is coming from non-politicians as well (e.g. Holocaust historians and just about anyone who has voiced a position).Icewhiz (talk) 10:37, 5 February 2018 (UTC) Xx236 (talk) 12:58, 5 February 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Israel demands changes to 'Polish death camp' bill". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  2. ^ Maltz, Judy (2018). "Death Camps Weren't 'Polish' - but Poles Were Bad Enough to Jews Without Them, Holocaust Historian Says". Haaretz. Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Israel accuses Poland of denying the Holocaust". The Independent. 2018-01-28. Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  4. ^ Pfeffer, Anshel (2018). "The Polish Were Once Victims of Historical Whitewashing. Now They Are Doing the Same". Haaretz. Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  5. ^ Federman, Josef (2018-01-28). "Polish bill outlawing Holocaust culpability 'an obscene whitewashing' of history". The Hamilton Spectator. ISSN 1189-9417. Retrieved 2018-01-31. 

NPOV: Jedwabne pogrom and Kielce pogrom[edit]

As might be seen by even a cursory google news search of Jedwabne+"Polish death Camps" (or Kielce) - these are covered in conjunction and attempts to suppress (and, one would note, prior outright denial by some government officials) the alleged attempt to criminalize speech suggesting Polish responsibility for these atrocities (that per historical consensus were committed by Poles) are covered in RS dating back years (e.g. Foxman in 2012 - prior to the RECENTish bill). Wikipedia should reflect views that differ from the Polish government line, and should rely on WP:RS - not the Law and Justice party line. A smattering of sources on the matter:[9][[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20]. This belongs in the lead and should appropriately be expanded in the body.Icewhiz (talk) 22:08, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Google bombing is an invalid argument. Of course these things are mentioned in conjunction, because they are discussed in common context of the Holocaust in Poland. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a billboard to polemics, where politicians accuse each other of various bads. You are very welcome to provide citations which directly associate' the article subject with other things, not just discuss them in the same text. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:14, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
You again spreading the same falsehood again and again: the bill criminalizes the allegations of collective responsibility, not responsibility for crimes committed by Poles. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:14, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
By the way, I did not delete mentions of both pogroms, only details, which do not belong to this article, and which may be found one mouse click away. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:16, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
It might be OK (depending on how they enforce it) to say that individual Polish citizens were responsible for individual atrocities. However, it would be illegal (per what is reported in RS) to say that "the Polish people bear responsibility for their complicity with the Nazis and for large-scale atrocities in which thousands of Jews were murdered by Polish mobs". Jedwabne and Kielce are covered in depth in RS reporting in relation to the "Polish death camp" issue (and not the Holocaust in Poland at large) - and it is definitely DUE to expand them to a sentence length - frankly, they could each have a whole paragraph. Per WP:WEIGHT - we are supposed to represent viewpoints and facts in relation to the amount of coverage they have received in RS - therefore demonstrating that an issue is covered at length in RS covering the topic of an article, this article, is a clearly relevant argument. Saying it is "a mouse click away" - is not (the same may be said of 95% of the other items in this article which are covered in greater length in other articles).Icewhiz (talk) 22:29, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Yes, by the new bill it is illegal to say "the Polish people bear responsibility". Yes this position is subject to valid criticism. Yes the position of the bill has its grounds. These issues must be discussed, not how many Jews Poles killed or saved. What is more these issues must be discussed in the article about the bill. Instead, this (i.e., "PDC"C article) must discuss how many politics immediately associated this bill with "PDC"C issue. And this must be discussed in scholarly manner, because this association is valid and in fact lies in plain sight. In scholarly manner, and not as mirror of the Polish-Jewish pissing contest. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:51, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Sources are treating these issues jointly and are criticizing the attempts to suppress "death camps" (in the new bill, and prior to the bill - dating back years) in the context of Polish denial of Polish complicity of the Holocaust - for instance the Polish Education Minister Anna Zalewska appearing to deny Polish responsibly for Jedwabne.[21].Icewhiz (talk) 07:07, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I am with Icewhiz on this. It seems to me that some here is using the Polish government as "trustworthy source" ignoring that historians differ.--APStalk 19:59, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

OR/NPOV tag at the section Historical context[edit]

I agree with this tagging. The article is structured wgongly. It has the section "Rationale for use of the term", but does not have the section "Arguments against the term". And most of the content of "historical context", properly sourced, may go into the missing section. Because this is what protesters of the term state: There was no collaborationist Polish government. Poles did not establish or manage the camps. In fact exterminations in the camps were carried out by Ukrainian collaborators.

The rest, how good were some Poles and how bad were other Poles belongs to the article The Holocaust in Poland, in all detail. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:39, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Well - I think that a short overview of the Holocaust in Poland is DUE as this phrase is about the topic - and such background is provided in any non-Polish coverage of the issue. Regarding arguments against - at the moment we have these off in the reactions (and in the lead). I think it is fair to say that most knowledgeable people were, prior to the new bill, of the position that the phrase is historically inaccurate. (and most of the people using this phrase, prior to the new bill, did so with little thought on the matter - inadvertent sloppiness).Icewhiz (talk) 07:12, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
You are against censorship. So please: Some people name post-war Communist camps Polish [22]. Some of their wardens were Jewish, eg. Shlomo Morel. See An Eye for an Eye: The Untold Story of Jewish Revenge Against Germans in 1945. Why don't we describe the problem here?Xx236 (talk) 08:42, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure you want to go down that route. Jews had reasons (e.g. rampant antisemitism) to support communism - and yes many were communists. And yes - this became another stated reason to hate Jews collectively. This was also true in Nazi Germany - see for instance the Nazi view of Rosa Luxemburg or Werner Scholem. Do you really propose to go down the route of the history of antisemitism in Poland?Icewhiz (talk) 09:06, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
It's you route. I have written about a number of Jews who participated in crimes against Germans in Communist camps and you answer Rosa Luxemburg. Xx236 (talk) 12:13, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

A general problem with Icewhiz's edits are that he takes a reasonable source, a source which typically tries to present (whether it succeeds or not, it tries) balanced view of the subject, but then he cherry picks out all the negative statements, plucking them out of context and presenting them to push a particular POV, ignoring everything else the source is saying. This is pretty much the definition of WP:TEND and it also mischaracterizes the sources.Volunteer Marek (talk) 09:39, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

@Volunteer Marek: I agree the tags could be removed now. As for adding negative information to this section - I have focused on this since the original version contained only glowing praise and needed to be balanced - as this does not reflect the historical consensus on the matter (it would reflect the views of Law and Justice). The situation is nuanced and complex - even though "Polish death camps" is a misnomer. The article - has not reflected this, and has been facing some POV editing that has attempted to remove this nuance. (and note - that if this were the other way - an "attack piece" on Polish complicity - I would've edited to add rescuers and lack of Polish state complicity). As for your removal of Joshua D. Zimmerman's statement regarding anti-semitism in this diff - I would argue this is a significant scholar voicing mainstream consensus on the matter - however this could be better sourced (the advantage of the sourcing there was to avoid SYNTH - it was sourced to news reporting directly to the "death camp" issue. The general topic (of antisemitism in the underground) can be amply sourced) - It could be sourced to "The Polish Underground and the Jews, 1939-1945" (by Zimmerman, Cambridge University Press, which has been reviewed - [23] [24][25] [26] [27] and elsewhere) - there are several additional sources for this statement (not Zimmerman) - my fault here was laziness in terms of referencing in the article. An article by Zimmerman in Politico ([28]) - published under Politico's byline, is also a possible source that is short and to the point.Icewhiz (talk) 10:23, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Or here - Blum*, Lawrence. "The Poles, the Jews and the Holocaust: reflections on an AME trip to Auschwitz." Journal of Moral Education 33.2 (2004): 131-148., Wróbel, Piotr. "Double memory: Poles and Jews after the Holocaust." East European Politics and Societies 11.3 (1997): 560-574., Bilewicz, Michał, and Johanna Ray Vollhardt. "Evil Transformations: Social-Psychological Processes Underlying Genocide and Mass Killing." Social psychology of social problems: The intergroup context (2012): 280..Icewhiz (talk) 10:36, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

wp:Further reading[edit]

Please respect the rules. It's the place to list further reading. You list a book and next you list a text on the same book.Xx236 (talk) 08:37, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
This page is about the alleged Polish death camps. It's not about individual killings of Jews, described in the book. BTW the book contains a description of German terror in occupied Poland. It seems that some readers cherry-pick, they select description of individual crimes but ignore the contex.Xx236 (talk) 08:50, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

Requested move 31 January 2018[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: consensus not to move the page at this time, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 20:02, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

"Polish death camp" controversyPolish death camps (term) – It is not one camp but multiple. The word controversial doesn't give any information about the article; it would make more sense to write term or controversial term(s) to tell us what it is about. APStalk 19:55, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

  • I'm pretty sure this was discussed already a few years back.Volunteer Marek (talk) 20:59, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Regardless of prior discussion (did not check), saying in Wikipedia'ss voice that this highly inaccurate phrase is a "term", implying this is accepted terminology, is problematical seeing that most of the original use of the term was inadvartent by less informed writers.Icewhiz (talk) 21:09, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Current title correctly describes the subject: it is about controversy. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:13, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Since "Polish death camp" is an inaccurate and misleading term, it should remain in quotes. —Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 23:19, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose: the proposed substitute expression muddies the discussion still more. Nihil novi (talk) 04:42, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose pretty evidently requires quotation marks and controversy is more accurate than term; and close. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:47, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is well-established in WP:RS to be a controversy - e.g. The Guardian 2018-02-02, Huffington Post 2018-02-02 - so it satisfies WP:NAME. As per comments above, removing the quotes would be misleading. There is undisputably a dispute about the expression, with an overwhelming majority of sources agreeing that it's misleading. In fact, a possibly better name for the article, if there were sufficient consensus in the sources that the term is a misnomer, would be: "Polish death camps" (misnomer) . Boud (talk) 20:46, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The current title is very straightforward and clear, while "Polish death camps (term)" is not. Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:13, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Not a misnomer[edit]

The word is not a misnormer as stated in the lead section. There is not even a source to it. The regular terms, used by mass media and politicians world wide, is just using it as a geographic term. Critics claim that it could me misinterpreted as if it were the Poles and not the Nazis who did it. That is what the debate is about.--APStalk 13:56, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

You are correct it should be sourced. Here - White House ‘regrets’ reference to ‘Polish death camp’ "The misnomer ‘Polish camps’ unjustly implies that the death camps in Poland were built in the name of the Polish people rather than by the Nazi regime," the ADL said. which is sourced to Anti-Defamation League (there are also multiple Polish MFA/embassy stmts calling this a misnomer - however using them would require attributing the them as they clearly have an agenda).Icewhiz (talk) 14:07, 1 February 2018 (UTC)

- Icewhiz you clearly have an agenda, stop your propaganda — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:24, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

The ADL is a pressure group. While they do valuable work and research, their public statements are given to propagandizing. While "Polish death camps" is potentially misleading, it is *not* a misnomer when used to refer to death camps *located in* Poland. This is a distinction which the ADL fails to draw here, but we should hold ourselves to higher standard of precision as we are writing a reference work. In conclusion, this source is not sufficient to motivate the use of "misnomer" here. Zekelayla (talk) 23:25, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes it is a misnomer, Just as if New Year's Eve sexual assaults in Germany would have been called German New Year's Eve sexual assaults just because they happened in Germany. Just because Soviet occupational forces were *located in* Poland, they did not become Polish, and so on. It is incorrect to apply purely geographical identification to such things, therefore it is a misnomer, "a misapplied or inappropriate name or designation". Staszek Lem (talk) 23:33, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
No, German New Year's Eve sexual assaults is not a misnomer either, nor would it be an appropriate name for an article, since it is potentially misleading. There are numerous instances of native English speakers using the phrase "Polish death camp" or analogous constructions without it being a speech error or being wrong about the historical facts. Without a more reliable source there is no basis to insist on the use of the term "misnomer".Zekelayla (talk) 23:42, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
without it <...> being wrong about the historical facts - oh, really? Besides, I gave you an argument (which you ignored). Whereas all yours is just a repetition, "no it is not". Staszek Lem (talk) 23:49, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Your argument was an attempted reductio ad absurdum. I was telling you that the conclusion you claim is absurd, that "German New Year's Eve sexual assaults is not a misnomer" is not, in fact, absurd, and, on the contrary, correct. This is a form of advancing the discussion. Zekelayla (talk) 00:01, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Just because you do not like the source I am not going to jump thru the hoops until you supply us with an argument, not just hand waving. Staszek Lem (talk) 23:53, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Misnomer doesn't mean "lie" and it doesn't mean "incorrect" either; it primarily means something that is misleading. The first sentence of that article is: A misnomer is a word that suggests a meaning that is known to be wrong.--Pharos (talk) 00:02, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm afraid the wikipedia article misnomer has an insufficiently precise (and unsourced) definition. If you look at the examples of misnomers, these are cases like "pencil lead" (not actually lead), "koala bear" (not actually a bear), etc., where the phrase or terminology *unambiguously* and straighforwardly suggests, in its compositional interpretation, an incorrect notion. This is not the case here because "Polish death camps" is ambiguous between suggesting a location or a nationality of administration. That is, for example Auschwitz *is* technically a Polish death camp simply because it is in Poland. That implies nothing about the responsibility of Polish people. Note that I am not even the only person arguing this point here. In addition, the top comment here makes the same point and has 11 upvotes. Zekelayla (talk) 00:19, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Examples is dictionaries are intended to be understandable on the first sight without much thinking and without explaining much. Hence "koala bear" or "morning sickness". Staszek Lem (talk) 00:28, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

By the way "pencil lead" is not a misnomer by your logic either, because it is perfectly applicable, in perfect English, to pencils made with lead, i.e., it is simply an ambiguous term. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:32, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Pencil suggests that lead has never been used in pencils. Zekelayla (talk) 00:36, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
In the past people thought it was lead. Anyway, I agree my example is not very good. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:49, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

This back-and-forth will lead to nothing. I am going to file an RFC. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:56, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

It is clear that "Polish death camps" is not a misnomer in the strictest sense, but has been described as a misnomer by some native English speakers. I do not think it is suitable to call it a misnomer in the preamble, since this has been felt by some (and not just me) to be imprecise and distracting. It would be reasonable to note somewhere in the body that it has been described as a misnomer (with appropriate citations) as long as it also notes that "Polish death camps" can be correctly used to refer to Nazi death camps located in Poland. Zekelayla (talk) 01:00, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

No. The whole article is exactly arguing that this is not correct. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:04, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

To Indigowestern[edit]

Instead of throwing around accusation is vandalism and anti-Polonism, please discuss article content, per WP:NPA. Edit summaries such as

  • 0:49, 2 February 2018‎ Indigowestern (talk | contribs)‎ . . (5,785 bytes) (-467)‎ . . (Don't be a smartass)


  • (cur | prev) 09:58, 2 February 2018‎ Indigowestern (talk | contribs)‎ . . (47,066 bytes) (+2,251)‎ . . (Reverting vandalism. You don't get to alter users posts and neutral viewpoints.) (undo | thank) (Tags: Mobile edit, Mobile web edit)

will lead you to a trouble. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:01, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Edit warring of Indigowestern is reported Staszek Lem (talk)

Seems as though that has been dealt with and the editor blocked as a notorious sock. In ictu oculi (talk) 19:36, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
@Pharos: looks like you made a valuable sourced edit here re New York Times, but unfortunately you made the addition in good faith on top of the edit-warred version including a block of controversial content by the now blocked sock Indigowestern above. I wonder if you could rewind back to the stable version and then re-add the New York Times edit again. Assuming this fits with procedure. There may be other sock edits earlier that need weeding out, I'm just looking at the penultimate one. Cheers. In ictu oculi (talk) 19:40, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
I am not sure which is stable version, because many people edited the article since the first massive revert by the sock. IMO easier just review the article as it is now (The edit by Pharos is in). Staszek Lem (talk) 19:48, 2 February 2018 (UTC)
Okay. In ictu oculi (talk) 20:07, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Wholesale reverts[edit]

This article is actively edited by many, often in small pieces. Please to do not do reverts to remote earlier versions which look "better" to you. Some parts may be better, but others are worse. Please respect fellow wikipedians and discuss separate edits, not "versions" of the article. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:55, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

Should be semi-protected again[edit]

This is getting persistent unhelpful edits from multiple sides.--Pharos (talk) 17:58, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

Done. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:45, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

RFC on "misnomer"[edit]

Should the phrase "Polish death camp" be described as a "misnomer" in the lede? See #Not a misnomer for the earlier discussion. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:59, 13 February 2018 (UTC)


  • Yes It is a misnomer. Most of the dictionaries I consulted stressed that a misnomer is a word or name that describes something inaccurately or inappropriately.[29][30][31][32] The Oxford English Dictionary, which is behind a paywall, defines it as the "use of a wrong name" or the "misapplication of a term". These seems to me accurate descriptions of the phrase "Polish death camp"—inaccurate, misapplied. A Google search for Polish+camp+misnomer produces a lot of noise, but there are many reliable sources from the U.S. and Israel—in addition to the ones you might expect from Poland—that specifically describe the phrase "Polish death camp", "Polish concentration camp", or "Polish camp" as a misnomer. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 01:43, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
is your position yes it is a misnomer or yes it should be called a misnomer in the lede? I am inclined to concede it is a misnomer under a quite permissive definition of misnomer, but I do not think it should be described as such in the lede since that may incorrectly suggest that "Polish death camps" is a straightforwardly incorrect description. By the way, to respond to your argument, when it is used correctly, the phrase "Polish death camps" is not a name or term at all but a description. The issue is not whether to name an article "Polish death camps" but whether it is ever correct (and not explicitly misleading) to use the phrase "Polish death camps". The 2012 use of this phrase by Barack Obama is the locus classicus, but I have linked above to attestations by a dozen stack exchange users of the technical correctness of this phrase.Zekelayla (talk) 02:15, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Please see WP:Requests for comment/Example formatting#Separate opinions from discussion. This is a survey, in which I indicated my response ("Yes") to the question asked ("Should the phrase "Polish death camp" be described as a "misnomer" in the lede?"). The following section is for discussion. Thank you. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 04:19, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No, the description misnomer is misleading since it gives the incorrect impression that "Polish death camp" is technically incorrect, contrary to the fact that it can refer merely to a death camp located in Poland. This fact about English is rather widely attested. Zekelayla (talk) 02:03, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. This is an inaccurate term and most Holocaust experts (and non-experts) recognize it is inaccurate. It is also referred to as a misnomer - White House ‘regrets’ reference to ‘Polish death camp’ "The misnomer ‘Polish camps’ unjustly implies that the death camps in Poland were built in the name of the Polish people rather than by the Nazi regime," the ADL said. which is sourced to Anti-Defamation League (which does not have a pro-Polish agenda, there are also multiple Polish MFA/embassy stmts calling this a misnomer - however using them would require attributing the them as they clearly have an agenda). Most users of the terms (with the notable exception of some recent protest uses as well as a minority of previous users that have insisted this is correct in the geographic sense) have corrected their language when asked. While in the strict geographical sense "Polish death camp" can be seen as correct (as these are death camps that are located in Poland) - the term is misleading when this isn't clear that the speaker/writer is referring to the strict geography (leading to an ambiguous meaning where most interpretations are highly incorrect). The vast majority of the users of this terms, prior to the current legislation spat, were uninformed - it is not a term anyone versed in the Holocaust would use.Icewhiz (talk) 07:45, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. Per the Wikipedia "misnomer" article, "A misnomer may... be... a word that someone uses incorrectly or misleadingly." This perfectly describes the situation with the incorrect and misleading expression, "Polish death camp". Nihil novi (talk) 09:07, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. It may be used incorrectly, and clearly, sometimes is, hence it is problematic. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 11:59, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak yes, although I would prefer a stronger term "misrepresentation", per Yad Vashem and others. Batternut (talk) 12:14, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. It fits the dicdef for "misnomer" and we must clearly call it so in the lede, without any wiggling that somehow it is grammatically or formally admissible usage. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:49, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes because referring to the camps as "Polish death camps" would be a clearly WP:FRINGE position and no, we don't put fringe positions on an equal footing with non-fringe positions. That being said, we don't have to use the exact phraseology currently utilized. And footnoting just to the White House seems a bit off. I'd suggest not footnoting at all, as it is not necessary as long as it is thoroughly covered in the body of the article. Coretheapple (talk) 00:49, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Do you have any proposals? Zekelayla (talk) 02:12, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
One can say "a term rejected by historians, who refer to the camps as being 'Nazi' not 'Polish.'" That might be a clearer and actually stronger than misnomer. But what is wrong with "misnomer"? It is a misnomer. Remember that in leads we just summarize what is in the article. Coretheapple (talk) 12:54, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I would actually be fine with "a term rejected by historians, who refer to the camps as being 'Nazi' not 'Polish.'". Calling it a misnomer ambiguously suggests it is never correct to say "Polish death camps" when in reality it has been used by a variety of native English speakers to refer to death camps located in Poland.Zekelayla (talk) 17:00, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
This RfC was drafted a binary choice. Perhaps you or the drafter should present more options. Coretheapple (talk) 17:16, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment/ weak yes: I think the first sentence should be changed to perhaps "Polish death camp" and "Polish concentration camp" are phrases with disputed usage," or use the word "misrepresentation," per the above comments.-- Gokunks (Speak to me) 04:09, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes It's a misnomer I think. GizzyCatBella (talk) 05:38, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. In addition to being ambiguous, inaccurate, misleading, fallacious, deceptive and specious, the term is also a misnomer. —Roman Spinner (talk)(contribs) 22:10, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No per everything Zekelayla said. The most that can be said about it is that it is ambiguous. It is not even necessarily misleading, as it has often been used by people with no intent to deceive. --Khajidha (talk) 14:49, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes it is a misnomer, and it fits the definition there.--Pharos (talk) 19:45, 16 February 2018 (UTC)


  • reposting from above: It is clear that "Polish death camps" is not a misnomer in the strictest sense, but has been described as a misnomer by some native English speakers. I do not think it is suitable to call it a misnomer in the preamble, since this has been felt by some (and not just me) to be imprecise and distracting. It would be reasonable to note somewhere in the body that it has been described as a misnomer (with appropriate citations) as long as it also notes that "Polish death camps" can be correctly used to refer to Nazi death camps located in Poland.Zekelayla (talk) 01:02, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • "Polish death camps" can be correctly used to refer to Nazi death camps located in Poland. -- Nope. The whole article argues that it is not correct. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:07, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
The article argues that "Polish death camp" is impolitic because this description "can be misconstrued as meaning "death camps set up by Poles" or "run by Poles" or "run by Poland"", not that this description is incorrect, strictly speaking. Again, in the sense that these camps were in Poland, it is simply a correct description for many English-speakers. Zekelayla (talk) 01:30, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Most of the possible meanings of "Polish death camp" are wrong (this is not to say Poles were not complicit in the Holocaust or even aided in the operations and transport to the death camps - however they did not initiate, command, or oversee the death camps) and quite offensive. In the very narrow geographic sense the term is possibly accurate (with the provisio that Poland as a state didn't exist following 1939, and Polish borders aren't a constant - though true in relation to the modern borders), however most interpretations of the term are inaccurate - if it is not clear to the reader/listener that the writer/speaker is using the term in the very narrow geographical sense - then the reader/listener will not make such an interpretation (the straightforward interpretation would be a camp run by ethnic Poles, the Polish nation/state, or even possibly a camp killing Poles).Icewhiz (talk) 07:57, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Indeed it is correct in the narrow geographic sense. Hence it is misleading to call it a misnomer. I'd question your assertion that "The vast majority of the users of this terms, prior to the current legislation spat, were uninformed ". In fact the article does not currently document any cases where the phrase was used not in the geographic sense. Certainly Barack Obama's use of the term appeared to be a use in the geographic sense, and was explained as such. Zekelayla (talk) 08:14, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
And both Obama([33][34][35]) and Comey ([36] [37]) considered it correct to apologize and clarify their use after being prodded to do so. The same is true of many media outlets. If many or most uses end up with an apology of inadvertent use and clarifying one meant "Nazi death camps in occupied Poland" - it is a misnomer.Icewhiz (talk) 08:54, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Per the WaPo editorial board - So to call the camps “Polish” is misleading, at best. President Barack Obama prudently apologized after using the term in 2012, and The Post’s stylebook says it should be avoided. - while attacking the bill - It’s one thing, however, for Polish officials and historians to argue against the use of “Polish death camps” and quite another for the country’s government to threaten anyone who uses it, anywhere on Earth, with three years’ imprisonment. ‘Polish death camps’, Washington Post, editorial board.08:57, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Is Guantanamo Bay Naval Base a Cuban base, in any narrow meaning? Technically perhaps, due to being on the island of Cuba, in the same way as these camps were on Polish territory. If "Cuban Guantanamo Bay Naval Base" or suchlike was ever used it would be a misnomer at the very least; "deliberate misrepresentation" would be more accurate. Batternut (talk) 12:10, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
In fact the phrase "Polish death camps" has been used in most attested instances without misrepresentatory intent, as a geographic designation. Zekelayla (talk) 14:36, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
without misrepresentatory intent -- sure thing; out of blissful ignorance. One idiot suggested to use the term "Jewish death camps", because the Jews were dying there, so the term must be correct. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:01, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  • What is "in Poland"? Stutthof camp wasn't situated in pre-war Poland but in Danzig. [38] Xx236 (talk) 09:03, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
The fact that some death camps may not have been in Poland is not relevant. What is relevant is that some were' located in Poland. It is these that can be described as Polish death camps.Zekelayla (talk) 14:36, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes it is very relevant, because if you admit one piece of ignorance, it spreads in weird ways. For example some idiot spoke about "polish concentration camp Buchenwald". Staszek Lem (talk) 18:54, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
It's not our call. "Polish death camps" is referred to as not accurate by the preponderance of reliable sources. If you (User:Zekelayla) dispute that, please provide sourcing for that position. Everything I read indicates that it's not accurate, and hence is a misnomer. Coretheapple (talk) 00:52, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
See numerous sources at,, as well as my link to stackexchange above. Zekelayla (talk) 02:55, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • It is not even necessarily misleading, as it has often been used by people with no intent to deceive. -- Usage without intent is out of ignorance, and being misleading does not depend on intent. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:23, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
  • No, usage without intent is due to it being a normal English formulation. And misleading is most definitely based on intent. If there is no intent to deceive you are not being misled, you are misinterpreting.--Khajidha (talk) 20:30, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
To say that someone is using a misleading term (ie a misnomer), is not to say that they are actively misleading.--Pharos (talk) 20:46, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
A term cannot be misleading, only the usage of it. It can be ambiguous, but not misleading. Second, as there are valid definitions of Polish and death camp that apply here, it is not a misnomer. Calling them Italian death camps would ne a misnomer. --Khajidha (talk) 21:33, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Almost every example on misnomer is there because it is in some sense true, but it suggests something that is false. For example, Arabic numerals really were imported from the Arab world, but it's considered a misnomer because they are originally from India.--Pharos (talk) 21:47, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Our misnomer page is at variance with the definitions I find anywhere else. All of those state that the name must be wrong or inaccurate. "Arabic numerals" is not inaccurate because they were imported from Arab sources. If the term Arabic numerals is a misnomer, then so is the term "Roman numerals" as those were derived from Etruscan usage. --Khajidha (talk) 03:21, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

Article lede section[edit]

Per WP:LEDE, the lead section of the article is the summary of the article content, not the billboard for propaganda of some opinions. Therefore the edits of R9tgokunks were reverted. Please follow the structure of the article. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:13, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

A strongly worded controversial opinion of a minister of construction has no place in article lede. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:43, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Also the text "statements that falsely ascribe" ciorresponds to the law. Please do not remove the word "falsely", which completely changes the intent of the law. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:16, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Hi, all the content i added was valid and well sourced. Falsely doesn't belong in the sentence. It's not neutral. When talking about the law in that contect, it acts as a weasel word. And well sourced content is not "controversial." It's merely being reported on. One doesn't need to discuss adding well-sourced content to Wikipedia every time someone wants to add them to articles. That's not how it's done. see WP:BEBOLD.

You also removed a few good edits of mine. In sum I...

  • Added information on the Polish propaganda effort, well sourced. [39]
  • Added information on opinions of Israeli ministers, well sourced. [40]
  • Tried to remove the weasel word.[41]
  • Tried to clarify an unsourced sentence.[42]

Each attempt on my behalf to improve the article has been reverted.

-- Gokunks (Speak to me) 00:47, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

  • "Falsely" does belong to the sentence, because the law says so. Removing this word drastically changes the meaning of the law. It is one thing to "accuse somebody" It is completely different to "falsely accuse somebody". Staszek Lem (talk) 00:50, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Article lede is article summary. Shouts of random politicians do not belong to the lede. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:50, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • One doesn't need to discuss adding well-sourced content -- not all well-sourced content belongs to wikipedia. And one does need to discuss edits, if other editors disagree. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:53, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure if you understand English fully, no offense given, but the statement should not incldue that word. It's presuming historical truths, It's not talking about the law, which is inappropriate. Wikipedia needs to be neutral. -- Gokunks (Speak to me) 00:55, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
I am not sure you understand English fully: the law specifically uses the word "falsely". Omitting it would misrepresent the law. Staszek Lem (talk)
Also, the statement "not all well-sourced content belongs to wikipedia." doesn't make any sense.-- Gokunks (Speak to me) 00:57, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
WP:NOT. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:00, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • content on opinions of the Israeli politican I added was "irrelevant". Of course it is irrelevant. If we start adding each and every politician rant, readers will not find any useful information in our articles whatsoever. We need statement coming from politologists who summarize the overall landscape of opinions, in an encyclopedic way. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:00, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • If you read the sources you would see that it wasnt only him making these statements.also,
  • Also, When you reverted my removal of "falsely" you gave the explanation that "dont change the law." when the word falsely is inserted in that sentence it implies a truth, that is not objective. It is not neutral.
 "It criminalizes public statements that falsely ascribe, to the Polish nation, collective complicity in Holocaust-related or other war crimes or which "grossly reduce the responsibility of the actual [German] perpetrators"

That's not neutral and "falsely" should be removed. It should be changed to "that the law purports to be false" or remove the word completely.-- Gokunks (Speak to me) 01:03, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

There is nothing neutral or non-neutral here. This is exact meaning of the law: false accusations are criminalized. Just the contrary: "that the law purports to be false" is the kind of wiggling and weaseling which does not belong to wikipedia. The law "purports" nothing. The law declares the rule. If there are legal experts commenting on the law, you are very welcome. But surely not minister of construction. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:14, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
P.S. I understand what you mean about "implies a truth". The law is not about establishing "truth": it is about setting criteria. Whether something is truth of not is to be decided in the court of law. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:18, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
By that logic, every article should say whether a law is right or wrong. That's not acceptable. Our servers are based in the United States, we aren't a court and cannot decide what Polish law means. It still does not make sense. I don't believe you're totally neutral on this. -- Gokunks (Speak to me) 01:24, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
You still have problems with my English. Let me rephrase it is the fourth way: The adjective "wrong" is not about the law, it is that the law criminalizes wrong accusations. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:28, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • The lede (and body!) should properly reflect that, at least as far as I can tell, almost everyone outside of Poland sees the legislation as between "bonkers" to an "attempt to rewrite history". What the Polish law says is mostly irrelevant. What is relevant - is how it is treated by RS.Icewhiz (talk) 13:49, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • The lede, perhaps, but the body certainly has a good discussion of the negative reaction. I don't see a serious neutrality issue. Coretheapple (talk) 14:56, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Both have been in a state of, umm, flux regarding POV for the past month - it has been swinging both ways.Icewhiz (talk) 15:01, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • how it is treated by RS -- correct. What the Polish law says is mostly irrelevant -- wrong. This pair of statements, if put into action is an egregious example of WP:NPOV violation. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:34, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • The criticism over the law is not due to its actual language but over how it would applied. Most people opppose distorting the historical truth... And would oppose a law thar bars such distortion when the reference truth is different from their perception of the truth (or on freedom of expression grounds). There are many examples of other bills in other countries whose language appeared innocous but whose ramifications were severe. The law itself is PRIMARY, what is relevant is how SECONDARY sources treat it.Icewhiz (talk) 18:55, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Correct. However this does not contradict my criticism of the (possibly sloppy) opinion above. Regardless law being primary or cententary, you cannot discuss criticism without faithfully presenting what is criticized. Otherwise the readers will be in danger of falling into some kind of informal fallacy (false attribution, red herring,... you pick). In our particualr case (bickering about the word "false"), try to remove the word "false" from the definition of "defamation", and you will get the law by which you will sue me if I say "You are an idiot". The same happens around this law. Israeli politicians, basing on newspaper hysteria think that they will be sued when they say "Poles killed Jews in Jedwabne." Will not happen. However if one says "Poles are Jew-murderers", the one will be sued. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:54, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Criticism here is well beyond Israeli politicians - and includes many hostorians. As for Jedwabne and Jew-murderers, it is far from clear you would not be sued for the former (it would depend on who decides what is "false" - some Polish lawmakers have said this is false in particular) and many would argue that if the former is true then the latter is true as well.Icewhiz (talk) 22:41, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  • And this exactly is the problem with the law. Staszek Lem (talk) 23:16, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Please explain what does "Poles are Jew-murderers" mean:
  • Some ethnic Poles were Jew-murderers;
  • Some former citizens of Poland were Jew-murderers;
  • All Poles are Jew-murderers.
  • Polish government collaborated with Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.
I don't support the law but I also don't accept unprecize language.Xx236 (talk) 07:23, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
We were discussing what would be illegal under the law - not what is correct to say. As for "Poles are Jew-murderers" (which is an ambiguous statement in scope) - I think that RSes support a some (ethnic and/or citizen) qualifications (your first 2 options), and most certainly do not support all. Sources also support some Poles saving Jews as well.Icewhiz (talk) 09:31, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
I understand that the law doesn't allow to accuse the nation as a whole, not some Poles and if I'm wrong I'll support any victims of the government. Xx236 (talk) 10:50, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
The subthread starting from Xx236 above is the precise example of the problem with the law: If you say "Poles are murderers" you are at the whim of the court to decide whether you accused "all Poles" or "Some Poles", and your lawyer will possibly have to work real hard, if you are disliked. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:42, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Presumably there would have been less controversy if the Amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance had limited itself to outlawing defamatory use of the expressions "Polish concentration camp" and "Polish death camp".
Nihil novi (talk) 22:56, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Such law wouldn't work, examples of legal statements "Poles organized camp guard in Auschwitz and murdered 1 000 000 Jews.", "Auschwitz was designed and run by Poles". "Polish deniers claim they didn't kill 3 million Polish Jews".Xx236 (talk) 06:52, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

Amount of usage[edit]

One thing absent from this article, unless I've missed it, is that I am not seeing any citations indicating the degree to which the term "Polish death camps" is actually used. (There is a discussion of usage but not as to how common it is used.) That would help. If the term has come into common usage, or its use is more isolated, we should make that point if there is sourcing for it. Coretheapple (talk) 13:02, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

From what I see - it has not been used widely and most uses were inadvertent. However, just about each time it has been used in the past decade or a half - the Polish MFA and/or other Polish political elements have requested a correction/retraction and in notable cases have protested against it. See one journalist's description of how she was approached (as well as giving wider examples) - Opinion I Used to Care About Polish Sensitivity to Charges of Holocaust Complicity. Not Anymore, Haaretz. It isn't a question of wide use - but rather of vehement opposition to use (particularly by news outlets and public figures (e.g. Obama who apologized)).Icewhiz (talk) 13:54, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
That article makes a passing reference to "Polish death camps" as being common journalistic usage. However, without more sourcing on this I'm not sure what to make of it. What matters in articles like this, anyway, is not journalistic usage but what the highest quality reliable sources say, and on that point I'm reasonably confident that it is a misnomer. It would be nice to find sourcing as to how much "Polish death camps" is actually utilized. I had never encountered it until reading about this controversy. Maybe I just never noticed. Certainly the backlash should be in the article. Coretheapple (talk) 14:52, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
1400 during 10 years official protests. [50] I don't know if they protested against 10% or 50% of cases.Xx236 (talk) 07:28, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
That's a raw number of official protests, and it's useful to know, but it doesn't give you a good idea on the relative occurrence of the misnomer versus an accurate name.--Pharos (talk) 21:27, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

there was a German military occupation rather than a puppet government[edit]

'military'? The German administration in GG was dual - civilian and SS/police. Annected lands were parts of Germany. Reichskommissariat Ostland was civilian.
Is rather than precize? There was no puppet government.Xx236 (talk) 07:34, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Comparison with Vichy France[edit]

The article says: "After the German invasion of Poland, unlike in, say, Vichy France, there was a direct German occupation rather than an indigenous puppet government".

I fail to see the point here. Yes, part was puppet, but part was "direct occupation" and eventually even the Vichy part was occupied in 1942. So I do not see the "unlike" part. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:15, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
I think it is a useful distinction, that in Poland there was no collaborationist government, unlike in most of Europe. And so that it was only individuals who were capable of collaboration, and these were acting against the underground Polish state. Do you think an example other than Vichy would be better?--Pharos (talk) 21:10, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
I do not think about the example. I am talking about sloppy phrasing. If the text means what you wrote it must say so directly: "in Poland there was no collaborationist government". Having puppet govt is independent of "direct occupation": Vichy govt operated bout outside "direct occupation" and during full occupation. Staszek Lem (talk)

BTW the current text is "After the German invasion, Poland, in contrast to cases such as Vichy France, experienced direct German administration rather than an indigenous puppet government." Zekelayla (talk) 05:39, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Messaging or publicity?[edit]

How should we characterize the Polish government's current campaign? Let's discuss it here.--Pharos (talk) 05:36, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

This originally read "propaganda". It was changed to "publicity" by an editor who felt that "propaganda" was POV. I soon after changed "publicity" to "messaging", because the Polish government is not strictly speaking publicizing any product, event, or even the Holocaust law. Wiktionary defines publicity as "Advertising or other activity designed to rouse public interest in something". The Polish govt is seeking to convince people, not merely "rouse public interest" in its beliefs. Zekelayla (talk) 05:44, 18 February 2018 (UTC)