United States disappointed over Poland's decision to sign Nazi legislation

08 February, 2018, 00:42 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • President Andrzej Duda said he would also ask Poland's constitutional court to evaluate the bill- leaving open the

"We believe that open debate, scholarship, and education are the best means of countering misleading speech", Tillerson said.

The legislation hasn't only sparked a bitter dispute with Israel. This was before the NBC docu-drama sparked a spate of Holocaust memoirs, Holocaust studies at USA universities, and a greater public interest in explaining the inexplicable.

The United States, a close North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally of Poland, expressed disappointment at Duda's decision. Earlier, Duda said that he planned to appeal to the Constitutional Court of Poland with the request to assess the innovations.

Poland canceled a scheduled visit by Israel's Education Minister Naftali Bennett after he said he would use the opportunity to tell the Polish people the "truth" about their country and the Holocaust.

Germany operated six camps in Poland where Jews and others whom the Nazis considered enemies were killed.

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".

"There is too much room for interpretation", Agnieszka Markiewicz, the director of the American Jewish Committee's central Europe office told The Washington Post. He recalled that the Polish government at the time had to go into exile and Polish officials were those who struggled to inform the world that the Germans were putting Jews to death on Polish soil. "A scholar associated with a university might be excluded, but what about a schoolteacher who shares some of the disgusting stories that happened in Poland?"

The State Department agreed in a statement last week that the phrase "Polish death camps" was "inaccurate, misleading, and hurtful".

France has joined the United States and Israel in its criticism, as the USA showed "disappointment" against the decision while Israel raised fears over the possibility of hiding the truth about some Poles' participation in the crimes.

In Israel, the reaction was also fierce.

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Poland's foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the country's top diplomat Jacek Czaputowicz met Azari on Monday, assuring her that Poland was opposed to Holocaust denial as well as "the related attribution of complicity in organizing the Holocaust to Poland".

Poland president Andrzej Duda.

In a speech on Tuesday, Duda used less provocative rhetoric.

"[We] do not deny that there were cases of huge wickedness" in which Poles denounced Jews", Duda said in his Tuesday speech.

"No, there was no systemic way in which Poles took part in it", Duda said.

Many Israeli critics have argued the law attempts to whitewash the role some Poles had in the detention and killing of around three million Polish Jews throughout World War II.

The bill first was proposed about two years ago, soon after Law and Justice took power in 2015, but hadn't been an issue of public debate recently.

The Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance (UINR) proposes, for security reasons of scientists, to continue the historical dialogue between Ukraine and Poland on Ukrainian territory, where there are no restrictions on assessments of the past, due to the adoption in Poland of the law on the Institute of National Remembrance, which foresees, in particular, punishment for "crimes of Ukrainian nationalists", the UINR's press service reported on Wednesday.

More Poles have been honoured by Israel for saving the lives of Jews during the war than any other nation.


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