The Yahoo News website reports that Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk angrily demanded today (May 30, 2012) that President Barack Obama explain his reference to "a Polish death camp" during a high-profile White House ceremony yesterday, and said the remark smacked of "ignorance, lack of knowledge, bad intentions, and amounted to a distortion of history."
Obama ignited the diplomatic flare-up yesterday as he honored Polish resistance hero Jan Karski and others with the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- America's highest civilian honor.
"Jan served as a courier for the Polish resistance during the darkest days of World War II. Before one trip across enemy lines, resistance fighters told him that Jews were being murdered on a massive scale, and smuggled him into the Warsaw Ghetto and 'a Polish death camp' to see for himself," the president said.
Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski immediately demanded that the White House apologize for what he called an "outrageous mistake," and said the ceremony had been "overshadowed by ignorance and incompetence."