Gravestones in the old 400-year-old Jewish cemetery in Ozarow. Poland 27th of January has been announced the Holocaust Memorial Day by the United Nations Organization. The date was not chosen by accident. It was on the 27th of January 1944 that the Soviet Army liberated the biggest nazi death camp in Europe, Auschwitz-Birkenau. To commemorate those who lost their lives in the gas chambers or executed by the nazis, every year special events are held there, attended by the Polish President and the Prime Minister.
Undoubtedly, we all realize how terrifying the Holocaust was. Unfortunately, all the evil that it brought is often associated with Poland, as it is the place where the biggest and most cruel nazi death camps were settled. In the recent years, we have been observing many international publications describing the death camps as “Polish”. We should all remember that although Poland was the setting of this very dark side of the history of World War Two, the death camps were Nazi German. It was the Nazi-German government and the army leaders who decided to annihilate the Jewish Nation in gas chambers, they constructed death camps with gas chambers and finally it was the Nazi-German officers, members of the SS, who were in charge of running them. Over 150 thousand Poles were killed in Auschwitz gas chambers. So Poles were victims of this regime just as Jews, Gypsies and other nations.
We should all remember our tragic past as it is a part of our identity. However, we should never allow blurring history. Talking about “Polish death camps” leads to false associations and assumptions.