Poland's President Duda says he will sign Holocaust bill into law

Duda also said he will ask the Constitutional Tribunal for clarifications about the bill. Those are likely to be issued after it goes into effect.

By REUTERS
February 6, 2018 13:05
1 minute read.
POLISH PRESIDENT Andrzej Duda

POLISH PRESIDENT Andrzej Duda. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

WARSAW - Poland's president said on Tuesday he will sign into law a bill imposing jail terms for suggesting the country was complicit in the Holocaust, defying criticism from Israel, the United States and activists.

Andrzej Duda said in a televised address the legislation would ensure Poland's "dignity and historical truth".

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Poland's right-wing government says the law is needed to protect the reputation of its citizens and make sure they are recognized as victims not perpetrators of Nazi aggression during World War Two.

Israel has said the law would curb free speech, criminalize basic historic facts and stop any discussion on the role that some Poles played in Nazi crimes. Activists say the passage of the bill has encouraged a rise in antisemitism.

More than three million of Poland's 3.2 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis, accounting for about half of the Jews killed in the Holocaust. Jews from across the continent were sent to be killed at death camps built and operated by Germans in Poland, including Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor.

The Polish measure would impose prison sentences of up to three years for mentioning the term “Polish death camps” and for suggesting “publicly and against the facts” that the Polish nation or state was complicit in Nazi Germany’s crimes.

President Duda said the bill would protect Poland's interests "so that we are not being slandered as a state and as a nation. But it also takes into account the sensitivity of those for whom remembering the Holocaust is extremely important.



He added that he would ask the Constitutional Tribunal for a number of clarifications about the bill. Those would likely be issued after it goes into effect. The legislation provides exemptions for research and art.

Education minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) said on Monday he was "honored" Poland had cancelled his visit to Warsaw this week because he refused to back down from condemning the bill.

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

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

Related Content

Juncker, left, Abe, center and Tusk, right
July 18, 2018
Japan, EU sign free trade pact amid worries about Trump

By REUTERS