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Solutions to Polish death camps bill

  • 2b-Letter6
As a white South African Jew who lives in a country with a history of discrimination, and whose religion has been looked down upon over generations, I would like to share my opinion about why it is wrong to outlaw the term ‘Polish death camps’ and propose a compromise.
by Ruby Kapeluschnik, Grade 10, King David High School Victory Park | Feb 22, 2018

To most people, the “Polish” part of “Polish death camps” refers to the location of the death camps, rather than the people who were responsible for them. Although we cannot change history and we have to remember that there were many Polish perpetrators during World War II, we must also acknowledge the Poles who helped to destroy the Nazi regime.

Therefore, to allow those responsible to take responsibility, and to allow the names of those people who fought against the Nazis to go untarnished, I propose using the phrase ‘Nazi death camps in Poland’ as an alternative to ‘Polish death camps’.

This rephrasing is crucial so that Polish youth, who were not alive at the time of the Holocaust, will be made aware of the atrocities committed on their soil. Similarly, although my generation – particularly the white youth – was not around during apartheid, we should ever deny what happened. Every South African should accept responsibility for what happened.

Likewise, Poland and its people need to accept responsibility in order to move forward.


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