The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of the oldest and most prominent Jewish organizations, supports Poland's demand for changing the official name of former Nazi death camp Auschwitz, the Polish News Agency reported Tuesday.
Last March, Poland appealed to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for a change of the camp's official name "Concentration Camp Auschwitz" to "Former Nazi-German Concentration Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau" in response to the western media's frequent use of the term "Polish concentration camps" when referring to Nazi death camps on Polish territory.
The Auschwitz site is on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.
"We are writing to express our full support for Poland's strivings to change the official name of the Auschwitz site in such a way as to make it clear that the camp was built and run by Nazi Germany," the ADL wrote to UNESCO World Committee head Koichiro Matsuur.
"As an organization devoted to nurturing Holocaust remembrance we share Poland's concern over the frequent description of Auschwitz as a Polish camp, which suggests the object was built on behalf of the Polish nation," it said.
Meanwhile, Szymon Szurmiej, the head of Warsaw's Jewish Theater, on Tuesday appealed to the World Jewish Congress (WJC) to comment on a view recently voiced by Maram Stern, a senior WJC official who said that to change the camp's name was in fact an attempt to "redefine history."
"One would have to be really ill-willed or have little historical knowledge to link Auschwitz's location in Poland with the Poles' approval of the camp or even participation in its doings," Szurmiej wrote.