Card game scrutinised by Polish government for incorrect war reference

In a World War Two faux pas, US toy maker Mattel has printed the words Nazi Poland on cards in a new game it has released.

The Polish government has made a demand through official diplomatic channels that the toy maker removes the game from sale.

This latest error comes just a week after the US ambassador to Poland was questioned about comments the US FBI Director, James Comey made in a speech saying that the Holocaust was caused by Germany, Poland and Hungary.

Mattel’s party card game is called Apples to Apples and players have to compare and match different sets of cards. Its original version used nouns and adjectives and now comes in a whole range of different versions on different topics. The game has already been on sale for a while and has sold millions.

The card that has come into question is about the Hollywood movie, Schindler’s List. The accompanying text explains that it is a film made in 1993 by director Steven Spielberg and that it is the real story of Oskar Schindlerwho saved more than 1,000 Jews. But the last part of the text says that it took place in Nazi Poland.

The Polish authorities say that this is not historically correct and is derogatory towards Poland.

Poland remains committed to ensuring that the atrocities of World War Two are never forgotten so that they do not happen again. The country was invaded by the Nazis causing the outbreak of the war. Millions were killed in Poland alone, and several Nazi concentration camps including Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor were all located in Polish territory. Therefore the terminology and historical descriptions given to the era are of concern to the Polish people, The Guardian reports.

The Polish authorities have even released guides explaining how to reference the Polish concentration camps. To date, Mattel has made no comment or indicated that changes will be made to the game.

The FBI director’s comments were made at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington also appeared later in the Washington Post.

The Polish prime minister Ewa Kopacz responded to Comey’s comments by saying that Poland was a victim not a perpetrator during World War Two. Comey has since written a letter of apology to the Polish prime minister, and her office has said the matter is now closed.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE