President Obama's description of a Nazi German Holocaust site as a "Polish death camp" has rightly shocked Poland, whose leaders insist the record be set straight 67 years after World War II.
Yesterday, Obama labeled the Nazi facility used to process Jews for extermination as a "Polish death camp." The White House later said the president "misspoke" and simply expressed "regret".
What's needed here is an outright and complete apology to Poland and the Polish people.
There were no "Polish death camps." These were German camps -- Nazi camps.
Obama's inexcusable faux pas was all the worse because it overshadowed a posthumous award of the highest US civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Jan Karski, a former Polish underground officer who provided early eyewitness accounts of Nazi Germany's genocide of European Jews.
So now Obama has messed up once again and this latest incident is already having international repercussions.
Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Wednesday Obama's words had hurt all Poles and he expected more from Washington than just "regret".how true!
"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," Tusk told reporters in Warsaw.
"Today, this is a problem for the reputation of the United States," the prime minister said.
These are serious words and they demand a response -- an apology -- from the president himself.
Here are the facts:Between 1939 and 1945, nearly six million Polish citizens perished under Nazi Germany's brutal World War II occupation of their country.
More than half of Poland's victims were of Jewish origin and they, in turn, accounted for half of the six million European Jews who perished during the Holocaust.
Many were killed in death camps set up by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland -- including the most notorious, Auschwitz-Birkenau.
It's about time President Obama and the people on his staff learned a bit of history.
Shame on them!