Auschwitz death camp
Poland wants to change the official name of the Auschwitz death camp on the UNESCO world heritage registry to emphasize that it was run by German Nazis, not Poles, an official said Thursday.
The government, led by the Law and Justice Party, requested that the U.N. Body change the name from “Auschwitz Concentration Camp” To the “Former Nazi German Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau,” Culture Ministry spokesman Jan Kasprzyk said.
Polish officials have complained in the past that foreign media sometimes refer to Auschwitz - a death camp located in occupied Poland where Nazi Germans killed 1.5 million people - as a “Polish concentration camp.” That phrasing deeply offends sensitivities in Poland, which was subjected to a brutal occupation by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi forces.
“In the years after the war, the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was definitively associated with the criminal activities of the national socialist Nazi regime in Germany. However, for the contemporary, younger generations, especially abroad, that association is not universal,” Kasprzyk was quoted as saying by the PAP news agency.
“The proposed change in the name leaves no doubt as to what the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was,” Kasprzyk said. He said Poland’s government, led by Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, expects an answer from the Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, by the middle of the year. The death camp at Auschwitz was made a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.