The initiative by the restaurant in the city of Bologna in northern Italy has sparked a wave of protests from Polish people on social media, according to reports.
The restaurant, which is run by the Centro Natura Association, has invited patrons to a “Polish dinner" in connection with International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.
"On Remembrance Day - a Polish menu" is how the establishment advertises its Saturday's menu. The invitation features the image of a death camp’s barbed-wire fence and a rose.
The editors of Nasz Świat, a magazine published by the Polish community in Italy, have slammed the initiative by the Bologna restaurant, according to Poland’s PAP news agency.
The magazine’s Danuta Wojtaszczyk told the agency that Nasz Świat had decided to intervene with the organisers because "in our opinion, this idea harms the memory of the victims and also undermines the Polish nation."
Wojtaszczyk added, as quoted by PAP: “We called the restaurant and tried to explain that we consider this initiative to be inappropriate and out of place, but the organisers would not be convinced and said they would not change plans, because everything is ready.”
Nasz Świat’s Anna Malczewska seconded that the initiative “is not only offensive but simply distasteful, and that is why we tried to step in."
According to Polish public broadcaster TVP Info, some of the comments posted by those slamming the plan ran as follows: "Commercialism in the worst sense of the word," "Honestly, what a far-fetched idea that is to mark a day like this with a 'Polish menu,'" "Shame," and "I have no words."
Protests are continuing to be made on the organiser's website, TVP Info said, adding that the Polish embassy in Italy has been alerted.
While the restaurant did not appear to suggest any Polish responsibility for German Nazi crimes during World War II, Polish diplomats have previously intervened on a number of occasions over historically inaccurate terms suggesting a Polish role in the Nazi German genocide during the war.
Some foreign media outlets have run reports containing misleading references to “Polish” camps when referring to wartime German Nazi concentration and death camps in occupied Poland.
Source: TVP Info, PAP