“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.” -President Obama
To be clear, Poland was taken over by Germany, and all of the “Death camps” or concentration camps erected in Poland, were built and sustained at the direction of Nazi Germany.
The President’s speechwriter, Kyle O’Connor, who wrote the speech in question, discussed how this gaffe really came about during a talk he had with a group of college kids in Washington, D.C.
O’Connor stated that he was concerned about the pronunciation of the name of the death camp, so he opted to remove the name from the speech, and replace it with “Polish death camp.”
According to O’Connor, all of Obama’s “Wizards of Smart” didn’t catch the gaffe, and signed off on it, but after the political excrement hit the fan, O’Connor was told that it was not a big deal, that, ” no one could have caught it.” No one could have caught that glaring screw up?
According to the audio of his remarks, O’Connor seems to have gotten a big kick out of the incident, by joking with the students about his mistake, and adding that because of President Obama’s prepared gaffe, there is now a standing joke in the White House, regarding the mistake in the speech.
So for now on, whenever I make a mistake, my bosses threaten to send me to Poland to visit concentration camps with the President of Poland–Kyle O’Connor
Here is the transcript of the audio file:
So, I was doing what is called the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and we give it to a bunch of people, who do great stuff. Um, and one of the people we were giving it to was a guy, a polish guy who had died about ten years ago, but during World War II he snuck into an concentration camp and smuggled out, and told the world about it camps for the first time.
And so, um in the speech, I like talked, I originally had the President saying the name of the camp that he snuck into so, for morning of the speech, I was little worried about how pronunciation was going to go, so I called the Holocaust museum and asked them to tell me how to pronounce it, and they did, but it was really complicated, so I was like “I am just going to take it out of there,” so I took it out and put in Polish concentration camp instead, not knowing that that was the worst thing you can say to the Polish it people, because it implies that they were running the camps.
Its like in America, you would never, like tend to imply that, but they are very sensitive of that. So, it went on to the final list of people, no body said anything, apparently the only guy who had caught it was not there that day, and so the President says this in front of the world.
And so, its about 3 o-clock in the morning in Poland, and Twitter explodes. And of course I like have no idea why this has happened, and by the next morning, the president of Poland is demanding that Obama apologize to him and all Pols. I mean, like 35 million people are pissed off.
So I, I am the only guy at the time, and I think I am going to be fired, and um, but what they, Lee Favreau and my other boss said was,” don’t worry about it, we didn’t catch it either, no one could have caught it,” and the President was kind of wondering how this happened too, and they luckily protected me.
But, he ended up having to write a letter to the President of Poland apologizing, and I was like “hey guys, let me help with this letter, I feel like I should fix this, and they said “nah nah, you’re good.” (Laughter) And the funny part was that it washed over, but my roommate at the time was Polish, and I came home that night, he was like “What the fuck man?”
He was showing me all these newspaper headlines in Poland that were just going after (inaudible) But eventually (Inaudible) “we understand this is a staff problem, if you ever want to send your staff over her to be re-educated, feel free.”
So for now on, whenever I make a mistake, my bosses threaten to send me to Poland to visit concentration camps with the President of Poland (Inaudible)