Polish activists furious at the use of the term "Polish death camps" are touring with a billboard van pointing out that the hated WWII murder factories were run by Nazi Germany, not Poland.


Since 1989, Polish people have been trying to get media outlets to stop saying "Polish death camps" as they say it implies Poland shares some of the guilt for the camps built by Germany in occupied Poland.

The controversy intensified in 2013 when Karol Tendera, who was a prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau and the secretary of the association of former prisoners of German concentration camps, sued the German television network ZDF, demanding a formal apology and 50,000 PLN (9,800 GBP) to be donated to charitable causes for the use of the term "Polish concentration camps".

Recently Tendera filed another complaint against ZDF, saying that it failed to publish an apology on its main website for 30 days, in breach of a Polish court order.

The "German Death Camps" publicity tour is a reaction to this incident. The organisers plan to drive the billboard van from the western Polish city of Wroclaw to ZDF’s HQ in the central-western German city of Wiesbaden.

Then the billboard will move on to Bonn, Brussels and London.

The striking poster shows the dark entrance to a concentration camp as the shape of Hitler’s moustache, with the Fuhrer’s side-parted hair floating above. "DEATH CAMPS WERE NAZI GERMAN" is emblazoned beside the image.

The group explain on their website: "Poles were victims of the slaughter in their own country. The Holocaust, of which the originators and creators were legally elected by Germans - Nazi, was directed at residents of prewar Poland.

"It is false and dishonourable to accuse Poland and Poles of any complicity in German and Russian war crimes. Poland was one of the first victims of Soviet Union and Nazi terror."

The billboards point out that the WWII death camps were run by Nazi Germany, not Poland.
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Author: Victoria Milton