Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


Poles Want Auschwitz Moved, on the Internet

But it’s so heavy!

Print Email
Muslim clergymen visiting Auschwitz yesterday.(JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Where’s Auschwitz? It may soon no longer be in Poland, at least according to the Internet: Bogdan Zdrojewski, Poland’s culture minister, has asked the directors of the Auschwitz-Burkenau museum—as well as their counterparts at the Majdanek and Stutthof concentration camps—to drop the .pl suffix from the museum’s Website.

“I’ve asked them to be consistent in using the appropriate German names of the camps and this applies also to the Internet,” Zdrojewski said. “At the moment the .pl is misleading and might make people associate the camps with Poland.” Luckily, we now have the Internet to help us correct such faulty notions as a history of murderous Polish anti-Semitism.

Poland Wants Auschwitz Website To Drop .pl Suffix [The Telegraph]

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

Without discussing Polish Anti-Semitism, Germany was the party who gave the world Auschwitz, Majdanek and all the other extermination camps. The words over the entrance to Auschwitz are in German. And the city of Auschwitaz was annexed into Germany, so during the years 1939-1945, it wasn’t in Poland at all, but in Germany. It is historically incorrect to blame Poland for the presence of Nazi extermination camps in their country-which disappeared from the map after Germany and Russia divided it in Sep. 1939.

William says:

Generally, I like reading Liel Leibovitz, but my goodness– you saw a belt and you chose to hit below it. Whatever Poland’s history of anti-Semitism was and is, the German death camps are not part of that story. Even if one accepts (and I do) Israel Gutman and Jan Gross’s historical research on the terrible number of Jews murdered by Poles in the immediate postwar years, one should never conflate this with the single greatest crime carried out by mankind. It was initiated, conceived, implemented and carried out by the government of Germany and every ministry in it. If a few Poles, Ukrainians and others joined in, that is, of course, despicable. But the Holocaust should stay focused on the land that carried it out. These days, tens of thousands of teenagers march through Auschwitz thinking the Poles were the evil ones, the Nazis were some nebulous group, and the Germans were the good guys since they have nice relations with Israel now. Making it is definitely not a bad branding move. It would, in fact, be the right one.

R.E. Prindle says:

Define greatest single crime. Mao far exceeded whatever happened at Auschwitz.

Neveragain says:

I had a German prof once. He excused the Nazis by saying that Stalin was much worse. Mr. Prindle, be ashamed.

Pat Silver says:

The facts have not changed. Poland had no problem with the camps being in that country.
The Poles helped round up the Jews for extermination and tried to eliminate those who limped back to their homes after the war. They leave Jews out of any memorials they have to the victims of WW II. The Poles have still not come to terms with their antisemitism. They are happy to have Jewish tourists visit what is surely the graveyard of European Jewry but only for the tourist dollar which they crave.

The “greatest single crime” really isn’t a contest. Any mass extinction (Holocaust, Stalin, Lon Nol, and sadly on and on) is too horrible to contemplate and qualifies for that distinction.

Barbara Steinfeld says:

In my holocaust studies I learned that the reason the death camps were in Poland was because of the complicity of the Poles. It was the easiest place to put death camps as opposed to labor camps. Polish anti-semitism was so entrenched it was a natural fit. To try to erase that by saying it was technically Germany for a few interim years is a very weak argument compared to the damage the Poles did.

JHSibal says:

A friend just e-mailed me this site so this is my first viewing. I must say that I find all of this like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It seems more in line with Byzantine theology than aiding access to a web site.

As for the “single greatest crime” in history; the race to be history’s victim is a sad one. With solid historical records, we know the Europeans imported ten million Africans into the New World and that for everyone who made it, 3 or 4 did not. That gives us up to 40 millions–if you want to sell real estate. Or that population of the Americas prior to European diseases was a certain figure and up to 90% of the Indians died. Untold millions. And please, please, let’s not leave out the Mongol hoards who sacked Baghdad and turned Persia and Mesopotamia into a waste land. The fact that one group should jockey for this role in history is disappointing. What does it mean?

What should be learned from this period is that cultures can become psychotic, e.g., Rwanda/Cambodia. And many other than Jews died in Auschwitz.

“Technically Germany for a few interim years” Barbara, what did you learn in Holocaust studies? If not for the Nazis and Germany, the holocaust would never have happened. It just so happens that the German plans were to exterminate the Jews of Europe in what they thought would be the territory of the Soviet Union. The changing situation of the war led to its being performed in Polish territory. Yes, Poles and most other Europeans were and are anti-Jewish-but the responsibnlity for the Shoah lies with one nation and one nation only-and that’s Germany.

Bennett Muraskin says:

The reason Germany built Auschwitz and other such camps in Poland was that Germany occuppied Poland early in the war and over 3 million Jews lived there.

It had nothing to do with Polish anti-Semitism.

Barbara — Can you please share with us where this class was taught?

If memory serves me correctly, the Poles not only helped the Nazi’s in the camps, the also assisted in rounding us up and helping to discover the hiding places. It is far to easy to deny culpability 65 years after the fact when the witnesses are almost all gone.

hitler, stalin and mao…..all were socialists; nationalist, internationalist. The Bible says “Every man will have his own vine and fig tree. And no one will make them afraid. That’s what the LORD who rules over all has promised.” Micah 4:4. From this verse, I would say GOD is a capitalist who believes in private ownership and endeavour.

I’ve said that least 347033 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

You must know, your post goes to the center in the issue. Your clearness leaves me wanting to know additional. merely so you know, i will instantly grab your feed to keep up to date with your website. Sounding Out thanks is purely my little way of saying bravo for a wonderful resource. Accept my nicest wishes for your inflowing article.

I like this web site so much, saved to bookmarks.

My brother suggested I may like this blog. He was once entirely right. This submit actually made my day. You can not consider just how so much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

Poles Want Auschwitz Moved, on the Internet

But it’s so heavy!

More on Tablet:

A Tale of Three Twitter Feeds: Hamas Tweets in Arabic, English, and Hebrew

By Aaron Magid — Analysis of the social-media messaging of Hamas’ military wing reveals distinct voices for the West, the Arab Middle East, and Israel