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Poland president 'to sign Holocaust bill'

07 February, 2018, 01:18 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • The absurdity of Poland's Holocaust law

"We call on the president of the Republic of Poland to use his constitutional powers and, in conjunction with the Sejm and the Senate of the Republic of Poland, to bring deliberateness, rationality and benevolence back to Ukrainian-Polish relations", the statement reads.

Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, has ratified controversial law, defying criticism from United States, Israel, and a large number of global scholars who believe that norm opens door dangerously to denial.

The Polish legislature's passage of the "Law on Institute of National Memory" on February 1 has provoked outcries of anti-Semitism and Holocaust-denying, especially from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with politicians up and down the Israeli political spectrum and elsewhere echoing his concerns. The US also lodged an official protest against the bill, saying it "could undermine free speech and academic discourse" and could have "repercussions" for "Poland's strategic interests and relationships - including with the United States and Israel".

Several global rights organizations as well as the governments of Israel and the U.S. voiced concern that the bill infringes free speech related to the Holocaust. The president's passing of the law is the final step the bill needs to be implemented into law.

The Polish government, however, announced that it had cancelled the visit, ostensibly due to Bennett's criticism of a Polish law that criminalizes calling any Nazi-run labor, concentration or death camp "Polish." Israel and United States argue that measure will curb freedom of expression and, while collecting legal exceptions for research or art, may hinder any discussion of basic historical facts and role that some Poles played In Nazi crimes.

"We must protect the good name of Poles and of Poland", Poland's president said. "I am honored", Bennett said. And among Poles were a nourishing number who helped Jews and opposed tremendous resistance to regime of third Reich.




Duda has attempted to ease some of the tension by suggesting a constitutional review of the law by Poland's top court.

"I have chose to sign the law but also to send it to the Constitutional Tribunal", Duda told reporters in Warsaw on Tuesday.

Polish Deputy Justice Minister Patryk Jaki later referred to Israeli reactions as "proof of how necessary this bill is".

Nonetheless, Polish individuals, including fighters in resistance militias, killed thousands of Jews during the Holocaust, according to Holocaust historian Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

"The Polish state was not complicit in the Holocaust, but many Poles were", Mr Zuroff told the Times of Israel.

Of the 3.2 million Jews who lived in Poland before World War II over three million were killed under the Nazi regime.

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