German Death Camps

Norwegian the "imprecise" wording

Ostatnia aktualizacja: 16.08.2017 10:40
Avisa-Sr-Trndelag, 16.08.2015
"Avisa-Sør-Trøndelag", 16.08.2015Foto:

The Norwegian Press Complaints Commission has deemed the phrase "Polish concentration camps" to be permissible. The ruling concerned a film review of The Reader that was published in August 2015 in Avisa Sor-Trondelag. Describing the life of the main character in the film, the author of the article used the phrase "Polish concentration camps".

The Polish portal and the Polish embassy in Oslo strongly protested, demanding that a correction be published. On 18 August, the newspaper published a statement in which the editors apologised for the "imprecise" wording. decided that the correction was "perfunctory and does not give an impression that the gravity of the mistake has been understood" and filed a complaint against the editors of Avisa Sor-Trondelag with the Norwegian Press Complaints Commission. The Commission rejected the complaint, but afterwards reviewed the case and again decided that the newspaper had not violated journalism ethics.

According to the Commission, the phrase "Polish concentration camps" only indicated that the camp was located within the territory of Poland, which did not mean that it had been organised and managed by Poles. Justifying its decision, the Commission drew attention to the fact that former German camps in Norway are also referred to as "Norwegian". This interpretation was not accepted either by the complaining Polish portal nor by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Minister Witold Waszczykowski reminded that there was an official UNESCO definition of a concentration camp: "Auschwitz-Birkenau. German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp".