Poland Angered by "German" Copernicus





The move to change the spelling of the name, which reads as “Kopernik” in Polish and “Kopernikus” in German, reportedly came at the insistence of European Commission Vice President Guenter Verheugen, a German.

Poles have consequently accused the commission of Germanizing the name of the father of astronomy, Nicolas Copernicus.

But there is more to the matter than simply a few letters. Copernicus' nationality has since long been a source of argument between Germans and Poles. Viewed in Poland as one of the nation's greatest figures, Germans also consider the man to be one of their own.

Rewriting history?

Conservative Polish member of the European Parliament Adam Bielan, in a letter to the European Commission, took aim at Verheugen's historical interpretation regarding Copernicus. “By using the German spelling, Verheugen falsifies history and betrays either a lack of awareness or bad intentions," he wrote.




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