Polish President Says Will Sign Holocaust Law

The absurdity of Poland's Holocaust law

The parliament believes the legislative changes adopted by the Polish Parliament contradict the democratic values and strategic partnership of the two countries. The latter has demanded it to be reviewed.

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed into law on Tuesday a controversial bill outlawing any implications of Warsaw's culpability for crimes committed during the Holocaust. He added that he will tell his hosts, "I came to tell the truth where the truth occurred - and it's not dependent on any law". But at the same time... "Poland struggled against Germany", he said.

It says that "whoever accuses, publicly and against the facts, the Polish nation, or the Polish state, of being responsible or complicit in the Nazi crimes committed by the Third German Reich ... shall be subject to a fine or a penalty of imprisonment of up to three years". "If somebody acts as a spokesman for Israeli interests, maybe they should think about giving up their Polish citizenship and accepting Israeli citizenship", Nisztor said in a comment carried on the radio's official Twitter account.

While "Polish" is nearly always used as a geographic description in that context, Poles feel the phrase cruelly portrays their country as having been in charge of the Nazi-run camps, while in fact Poles made up the largest group of victims after Jews. Half this number is estimated to be Jews, while the rest were Poles and members of other ethnic groups.

"We must protect the good name of Poles and of Poland", Poland's president said.

European Jewish Association Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said in a statement Tuesday his organisation would challenge what he described as the "flawed" law in Poland's Constitutional Tribunal. He also said that he hopes this bill will not interfere with the strong relations between Israel and Poland. Referring to the killing sites Nazi Germany operated in occupied Poland with phrases such as "Polish death camps" is punishable by three years in prison.

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"The blood of Polish Jews cries from the ground, and no law will silence it", Bennett later said in a statement.

But he said the point of the law is to prevent Poles and Poland from being wrongly accused of institutionalized participation in the Holocaust.

The dispute over the "blame" law has deeply wounded the relationship between Poland and Israel.

"Poland can be certain that any distortion of history such as the notion of "Polish concentration camps" will be clearly rejected and firmly condemned".

Poland's president says he will sign a controversial Holocaust bill, despite angry protests from Israel and the US. In addition, MPs point out that frank dialogue, free exchange of opinions and academic freedom are under the threat of criminal prosecution in connection with the adoption of the law "that is incompatible with democratic values".

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