Poles are expressing outrage at President Barack Obama for referring to "Polish death camps" during a ceremony honoring a World War II hero but some say they hope the blunder will help clarify the sensitive issue to the world.

The phrasing is considered hugely offensive in Poland, where Nazi Germany murdered Poles, Jews and others in death camps during World War II. Poles were considered an inferior race by Hitler and had no role in running the camps.

Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski called Obama's words an "outrageous mistake."

Former President Lech Walesa says the phrase confused henchmen with their victims but that Obama's blunder might prevent similar statements by others.

 

 

The White House said the president "misspoke" Tuesday in bestowing the Medal of Freedom posthumously on Jan Karski.


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