Israel and Ukraine are indignant, interpreting 'historic truth' differently
Poland’s Senate has approved a bill making it illegal to accuse the Polish nation or state of complicity in the Nazi Holocaust, BBC reports.
The bill passed by the upper chamber, which sets fines or a maximum three-year jail term as punishment for calling Nazi concentration camps ‘Polish’. It must still be signed off by the president before becoming law.
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described it as an attempt to rewrite history.
The US State Department has also expressed concern saying the bill may be a threat to freedom of speech in the country.
President Andrzej Duda said in a televised interview that Poland has the right ‘to defend historical truth’.
Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II. Millions of Polish citizens were killed, including three million Polish Jews. The concentration camps where Jews were murdered were made on Polish territory.
The Polish authorities claim the bill is meant exclusively to defend historic truth and will not deter the discussion and study of the Holocaust. The bill also forbids the ideology of Ukrainian nationalism and denial of the crimes committed against the Polish population in 1939-1945. At the time the Ukrainian Uprising Army, fighting for an independent Ukrainian state, killed between 30 000 to 80 000 Poles living in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry criticized the bill for using such terms as ‘criminal nationalists’ and ‘Third Reich corroborators’.