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Yahoo! Inc. Agrees To Stop Using "Polish Death Camps"

September 08, 2011

Yahoo! Inc. Agrees To Stop Using "Polish Death Camps"

Piast Institute Announces That Yahoo! Inc. Agrees To Stop Using "Polish Death Camps"

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. - In an August 17, 2011 letter to Dr. Thaddeus Radzilowski, President of the Piast Institute, YAHOO! Inc. announced that it is the decision of its Editorial Process and Policy group that it will not use “Polish” in the title/description of a Nazi Death Camp and this policy “has now been incorporated into the standard training documentation.”
In releasing the decision Dr. Radzilowski said, “This is an important victory in the struggle to ensure that the history of World War II in Poland is not told in a misleading and defamatory way and that the Polish story of great valor, unflinching resistance and incredible suffering in the cause of freedom is presented truthfully.”  He pointed out that YAHOO! Inc. is the number one internet browser globally, and reaches the largest audience worldwide.  It serves 345 million individuals each month.  The willingness of YAHOO! Inc. to ban the use of the term “Polish Death Camps” is thus a major step in this campaign.
The issue first arose on May 12, 2011 when a YAHOO! Inc. release read “U.S. Auto worker convicted over Nazi Deaths. John Demjanuk was an accessory to the murder of thousands as a guard at a Polish Death Camp.”  In response, Dr. Radzilowski sent a letter to Carol Bartz, the President of YAHOO! Inc. in which he stated:
“I need not belabor the point that during the Second World War Germany built most of its Concentration camps and all of its death camps in Nazi-occupied Poland. During the first two years of the occupation, the vast majority of the victims at the camps were Catholic Poles as the Germans carried out the systematic destruction of the professional, academic, artistic and religious leadership of the Polish Nation as well as anyone else who resisted. By 1942, the Camps became the site of the even more terrible genocide perpetuated against Polish and foreign Jews.  Needless to say the Poles did not conceive, build or staff the camps. They like their Jewish neighbors were its victims. To identify these places as “Polish Death Camps” is unconscionable.”
A similar complaint was registered by Roman Zawadzki of the Southern California Anti-Defamation Committee to the Legal Department of YAHOO! Inc.
In response, YAHOO! Inc., agreed that the language was incorrect and announced that changes were made to the article to avoid any suggestion that the Death Camps were was associated with the nation or government of Poland.
At this point the Piast Institute decided to pursue the issue further so that this not be a one time event soon forgotten and that the error not be repeated.  After two months of discussion and the exchange of ten email communications, the YAHOO! Inc. Editorial Process and Policy group incorporated the change into its standard training procedures.
“We are deeply pleased with the outcome of the process,” Radzilowski said. “It shows the importance of dogged persistence in the pursuit of the truth. We owe it to those who sacrificed so much in the fight against tyranny and for freedom in our time to continue the struggle”.  He commended the work of the concierge group at YAHOO! Inc., which carried the issue through the internal process of approval at the insistence of the Piast Institute.
YAHOO! Inc. now joins other important national media such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in banning the use of the offensive term.
For more information, contact Virginia Skrzyniarz at 313.733.4535 or by email at skrzyniarz@piastinstitute.org