wnol.info July 20 2018

State Department calls on Poland to 're-evaluate' Holocaust legislation

July 20 2018, 06:49 | Irvin Gilbert

State Department calls on Poland to 're-evaluate' Holocaust legislation

During the Second World War Poland lost an astonishing 21.4 per cent of its population- about six million people

Poland's senate passed controversial legislation that would make it illegal to accuse Poles of going along with Nazi-related crimes, like the Holocaust.

Senators voted 57 to 23 in favour of the bill, with two abstentions. It must be signed by the chief executive before entering into law, something Polish President Andrzej Duda has indicated he will do.

The bill could result in up to three years in prison for anyone who deliberately attempts to falsely attribute the crimes of Nazi Germany to the Polish state or people, but art and research work is exempt.

Morawiecki made a televised address on Thursday night amid a bitter argument with Israel over Poland's legislation that would outlaw false attributions of Nazi Germany's crimes to the Polish state and nation.

The US said, however, the legislation "could undermine free speech and academic discourse".

Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) called on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who also serves as Israel's Foreign Minister, to immediately call Israel's Ambassador to Poland for a meeting in Israel.

"The legislation will not help further the exposure of historical truth and may harm freedom of research, as well as prevent discussion of the historical message and legacy of World War II", Israel's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

But the country's governing nationalists, who came to power in 2015, have sought to push back against suggestions of Polish complicity in the Nazis' campaign to eradicate Jews.

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It is a great injustice that Poland, the first country to resist German aggression during World War II, and a country that suffered dearly at the hands of the sinister German occupier, has been accused of being responsible in part for the Holocaust.

Many of these Holocaust survivors agree with President Duda and his disdain for the term "Polish death camps".

He called on Poland to be objective and hold a dialogue in issues related to common history.

Poland's deputy chief of mission in Israel, Piotr Kozlowski, said that the goal of the law "is not to whitewash history, but to safeguard it and safeguard the truth about the Holocaust and prevent its distortion". The most infamous of these camps, including the death camps Treblinka, Chelmno, and Auschwitz-Birkenau, witnessed the mass slaughter of millions of Slavs, Jews, Romani, and other so-called "undesirables".

Nauert said the USA understands that phrases like "Polish death camps" are "inaccurate, misleading, and hurtful" but voiced concern the legislation could "undermine free speech and academic discourse". In the ensuing years, the Nazis killed 90 percent of Poland's Jews and murdered most of the Jewish population in Eastern Europe. "We will win only together", Poroshenko said.

The bill must be signed off by the president before entering into law.

According to figures from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Germans also killed at least 1.9 million non-Jewish Polish civilians.

Poland was home to some 3.2 million Jews before the war. But historians have long argued that it's not the full story: Some Poles, they say, were complicit in the Nazi crimes, too.

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