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Mattel causes uproar with use of term "Nazi Poland" in card game

27.4.2015 21:57
Oscar Schindler (PHOTO:
Oscar Schindler (PHOTO:

Poland has been outraged by the use of the phrase "Nazi Poland" in a popular card game produced by Mattel, the largest toy producer in the USA. Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna has threatened to take the maker of the Barbie and Ken dolls to court unless the game concerned is removed from the market.  

The Polish-language Nowy Dziennik, based in the USA, reported on the scandal. In a card game called "Apples to Apples", which serves to expand children's horizons, one card stated that the film "Schindler's List" by director Steven Spielberg "tells the true story of a Catholic businessman who saved thousands of Jews in Nazi Poland".

Schetyna said the scandal is "not just about a lack of imagination, but also an ignorance of history". In fact, the Poles experienced a very brutal occupation by the Nazis.

The country is very sensitive to this kind of error. The Polish Ambassador to the US has already protested to the head of Mattel, according to Schetyna.

If the firm does not recall the game and correct the card, the matter will end up in court. Schetyna has also called on Poles worldwide to join an online protest event about the offensive error.

"If many of us join this event it will lead to success," he said, recalling that a rapid, strong response from Poles had forced James Comey, the director of the American FBI, to apologize for remarks in which he inferred that Poles were to blame for the Holocaust. Mattel has sold three million copies of "Apples to Apples".

Warsaw has been campaigning for years against the erroneous expression "Polish extermination camps", which is sometimes used by foreign media outlets and politicians to refer to the Nazi death camps on the territory of Nazi-occupied Poland. The Polish Government says it has made 160 requests for the clarification and correction of such terminology worldwide in recent years.

British newspaper The Guardian reported on 25 April that Mattel released a statement Friday saying that it "immediately removed" the card after discovering the error back in 2013 and that it will replace the games free of charge. Poland has accepted the apology.  

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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