In regard to the opinion piece “Let our fate be a warning to you: The significance of Holocaust education” (Dec. 9), there is a sentence which states: “In my studies of the Holocaust, hearing the pleas from the survivors to carry on their stories — and hearing the echoing cries of the victims as I stood in the crematoriums and gas chambers in Poland — has changed every aspect of how I live.”
We understand that the author is referring to one of the former German camps located on the territory of present-day Poland. However, the expression “crematoriums and gas chambers in Poland” may be misleading for some readers and may suggest that these were camps run by Poles. Please also note that the writer does not mention the perpetrators of these tragic events in her piece about Holocaust education. We are of the opinion that as an educator of Holocaust-related topics, she ought to present the full picture of those events.
Bearing in mind the credibility and clarity of the information provided about concentration camps, and in view of historical truth, on behalf of the Institute of National Remembrance we would like to note that the crematoriums and gas chambers, located in then-occupied Poland, were created and operated by Nazi Germans.
During the Second World War, the German occupant incorporated part of the Polish lands directly into the German Reich, and some were German occupied-territories. In the area of present-day, then-occupied, Poland, there were German concentration camps managed by the German National Socialist police and SS apparatus, and extermination camps.
To present the historical truth about German concentration camps in the occupied territory of Poland, the Institute of National Remembrance has created the truthaboutcamps.eu website and numerous articles about the Holocaust and German camps in occupied Poland in the years 1939-1945.
Institute of National Remembrance, Poland