Poland’s new conservative government wants to change the official name of the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz on the Unesco world heritage registry, an official said today.
The government, led by the Law and Justice party, hopes to 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 Germany 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 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 said.
“The proposed change in the name leaves no doubt as to what the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was.”