Obama scandalous Nazi death camp gaffe outrages Poland

US President Barack Obama (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)
Poland has lashed out the US after an outrageous mistake by the President Obama, who referred to Nazi death camps as “Polish”. Warsaw says the subsequent “correction” and expressed “regret” are insufficient.

­"I am convinced that our American friends can today allow themselves a stronger reaction than a simple expression of regret from the White House spokesman – a reaction more inclined to eliminate once and for all these kinds of errors," said Polish PM Donald Tusk in his statement published on Wednesday.

He also pointed out that the error hurt all Poles, who are deeply sensitive when it comes to World War II issues.

“We always react in the same way when ignorance, lack of knowledge, bad intentions lead to such a distortion of history, so painful for us here in Poland, in a country which suffered like no other in Europe during World War II,” Tusk explained.

On Tuesday, Obama mistakenly called a Nazi facility in Poland a “Polish death camp.” The remark came as he was posthumously honoring a Polish war hero with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Following the misunderstanding the White House expressed “regret” that the president “misspoke.”

Although located in Poland, Nazi Germany's most notorious World War II death camps were set up and run entirely by German occupying forces from 1940 to 1945.

According to different estimates, between 1.1 and 1.6 million people were killed in Auschwitz, the most notorious of death camps situated on Polish territory. The majority of those killed were Jews, but there were also hundreds of thousands of Polish and Russian prisoners.