AJC Regrets President Duda's Vow to Sign Controversial Holocaust Bill

AJC Regrets President Duda's Vow to Sign Controversial Holocaust Bill

AJC Regrets President Duda's Vow to Sign Controversial Holocaust Bill

The news comes amid outrage in Israel over a controversial bill signed by the Polish senate last week that would make it illegal to blame Poland for any Holocaust-related crimes.

In a rare move, however, Duda also said he will ask Poland's constitutional court to review the law, which could open the door to amendments by lawmakers.

The law imposes fines and jail time on anyone calling the Nazi slaughter of Jews during World War II a "Polish crime", or Nazi death camps "Polish death camps".

The over 3 million Jews who lived in Poland and were murdered by the Nazis account for about half of all Jews killed in the Holocaust.

"We are also concerned about the repercussions this draft legislation, if enacted, could have on Poland's strategic interests and relationships - including with the United States and Israel", U.S. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said on January 31. They see the legislation as part of a slippery slope that minimizes the role of Poles in the Holocaust, as well as the painful Jewish past in a country with a long history of anti-Semitism.

Bennett was scheduled to meet with Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Gowin, who is also the country's minister of science and higher education, as well as members of Poland's parliament, in addition to a group of Holocaust survivors and Poles who have been declared as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem.


"Yes, the death camps in Poland were built and operated by the Germans, and we can not allow them to evade responsibility for these actions". Millions more Polish Jews, and other non-Jewish, Polish civilians were murdered across the country. "I have made a decision to submit the bill to the Constitutional Court so that the Constitutional Court examines its conformity with the constitution", Duda said.

"Yes, the death camps in Poland were built and operated by the Germans, and we can not allow them to evade responsibility for these actions", Bennett said. However Poland's government spokeswoman said there would be no such visit. "The existence of certain collaborators does not change anything", Gabriel said.

In addition, the document envisages punishment for denial of the "Volyn massacre" and the use of the expression "Polish death camps" in relation to the camps that were located in Poland during the Second World War.

The law has received criticism from both Israel and the United States. "Israel and Poland hold a joint responsibility to research and preserve the history of the Holocaust", the Israeli government said in a statement on Twitter. At least 1.9 million non-Jewish Polish citizens were killed by the Nazis as well.

Unlike most European nations under Nazi occupation, Poles were not allowed any degree of self rule and none of the Polish state's organs were integrated into the Nazi-led genocide.

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