German court orders ZDF tv station to apologise for smearing Poland

A regional court in the German city of Koblenz has ruled that the country's ZDF television station must apologise for referring to German World War II death camps as "Polish", the Polish Radio's Radio Information Agency reported on Saturday.

The verdict came after Lech Obara, a lawyer acting on behalf of a 95-year-old survivor of the Nazi German death camp Auschwitz, Karol Tendera, asked the German court to implement a ruling by the Appellate Court in Krakow, south Poland.

In December 2016, the Polish court ordered that Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF) publish an apology on its main webpage for referring to German World War II death camps as "Polish".

Yet the apology, when it came, appeared on one of the portal's tabs instead of the main site.

Obara, who chairs the Patria Nostra Association in Olsztyn, northeast Poland, submitted a plea to the Koblenz court in August, as he notified PAP at the time.

His move chimes with the policy of Poland's diplomatic missions around the world. This year alone, embassies in various countries repeatedly called foreign media to task for referring to Nazi German WW2 death camps as if they had been Polish.

According to the lawyer, the case made by the Polish side won out before the German judicial institution, with the Koblenz court making several key points.

"The court said Mr Karol Tendera, ex-prisoner of Auschwitz, deserved protection", IAR quoted the lawyer as saying, "in particular his dignity and the right to a good name on the international arena should be protected".

Obara insisted that according to his legal firm, ZDF had not, in fact, complied with the original verdict from the Krakow court. The broadcaster may claim otherwise, "but we insist that it did not comply with the ruling", the lawyer said, pointing out that the apology ought to have been published on ZDF's main webpage.

Source: PAP