Auschwitz (file)
Auschwitz (file)Thinkstock

Poland is drawing up new regulations to punish use of the phrase “Polish death camps” in reference to Nazi concentration camps on Polish soil, Reuters reported on Saturday, citing Poland’s Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro.

“This will be a project that meets the expectations of Poles, who are blasphemed in the world, in Europe, even in Germany, that they are the Holocaust perpetrators, that in Poland there were Polish concentration camps, Polish gas chambers,” Ziobro was quoted as having told Polish radio station RMF.

“Enough with this lie. There has to be responsibility,” he added.

Poland has long sought to eliminate the misleading phrase from historical and newspaper accounts since it suggests the country, which was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II, was responsible for concentration camps on its territory.

The Nazis operated many of their most infamous death camps, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, Sobibor and Treblinka complexes, in occupied Poland.

Ziobro said he had presented the project to the prime minister, Beata Szydło, and she reacted positively.

In 2012, President Barack Obama used the term “Polish death camp” while speaking at a ceremony in which he awarded the Medal of Freedom.

Poland reacted angrily at the time, and Obama’s spokesman was quick to apologize and note the president “misspoke”.

A previous initiative presented in late 2014 would have punished the use of the erroneous term by jail time.