WARSAW, Poland – The Polish government has demanded that toy producer Mattel recall a party game and correct a card that refers to "Nazi Poland," officials said Friday.
Poles find such language offensive because Poland was never allied with Germany and was in fact subjected to a brutal occupation by Nazi Germany throughout World War II.
Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna said that the Polish embassy in Washington has asked Mattel to withdraw "Apples to Apples," a game in which players compare different things. In a statement, the embassy said the wording is "completely inconsistent with the historical truth and detrimental to the good name of our country." The Warsaw government is also using Twitter to call on people to protest the game.
The disputed card is entitled "Schindler's List" and says: "1993 Steven Spielberg film. Powerful, real-life story of a Catholic businessman who eventually saved over 1,000 Jews in Nazi Poland."
It was the second incident this week to spark a similar reaction in Poland.
In recent days Polish leaders have also condemned remarks made last week by FBI director James Comey in which he seemed to equate the roles of Poland and Hungary in the Holocaust with that of Germany.
The matter finally calmed down when Comey sent a note to the Polish ambassador in Washington on Wednesday expressing regret for having named any countries alongside Germany.
Language like that used by Mattel and Comey hits a raw nerve because Poles feel that they are repeatedly and unfairly blamed for the German atrocities that were carried out on Polish soil by outsiders who confuse geography with complicity.
In fact, Poles had no role in running the ghettos or the death camps in Poland and the Polish state never collaborated with Germany.
However, there were instances of individual Poles who helped the Nazis track down Jews to murder, and cases of mass killings of Jews by Poles during the war and after.
Mattel didn't immediately respond to calls and emails seeking a comment.