There were no “Polish death camps”. There is a simple tool, to prevent this mistake from recurring
A special application “Remember” is to help avoid the use of the term “Polish concentration camps” or “Polish death camps” in 16 languages. The program, which can be installed on a personal computer searches for a false phrase, underlines it and suggests the appropriate wording.
‘The Auschwitz camp was built by the German state on the territory of occupied Poland which were forcibly incorporated into the Third Reich. It is obvious for all those who visit the authentic site of the Memorial or read our publications. We also underline this through our activities on the Internet. However, every once in a while in the media, this false statement appears, very painful to bear for Poles,’ said the director of the Auschwitz Museum, Dr Piotr M. A. Cywiński.
‘Now, bearing in mind the events of the 71st anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz, we are sending this application to journalist accredited to the commemoration event. We also encourage editorial teams, institutions and schools around the world to install it on their computers,’ added Piotr Cywiński.
The project originated in the Warsaw advertising agency FCB. ‘Upon careful analysis of who and where the phrase “Polish death camps” was used, it turned out that those who disseminated this error were mostly journalists. Although we are aware of cases of intentional manipulation, and then a refusal to rectify it, these errors often stem from haste and lack of knowledge. This was the inspiration for us to develop the application “Remember”,’ said Agnieszka Heidrich from FCB Warsaw.
‘We decided to make use of the primary tool used by text writers and create an easy to install add-on that finds the mistake made and suggests a correct phrase,’ added Agnieszka Heidrich.
The application on PC works with Microsoft Word. On Mac computers it works with all software using the system dictionary, i.a. Textedit, Keynote, Outlook or Safari browser.
The application searches the text, for the term "Polish death camp" or "Polish concentration camp", highlights it as a mistake and suggests an appropriate historical term. It works as a proofreader, except that it only detects this single erroneous phrase. Currently, it is designed to search for errors in 16 languages, the majority of which are used by educators who guide visitors at the Auschwitz Memorial. However, work is ongoing to include subsequent languages.
“Remember” can be downloaded from the website correctmistakes.auschwitz.org. There is also a place on the website, where anyone who notices the use of the incorrect phrase “Polish death camp” can react.
The project was created in cooperation with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and FCB Warsaw, with the support of Mint Media and Macoscope.