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Poland Moves To Ban References To Holocaust-Era 'Polish Death Camps'


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Jeremy Frankel

January 28, 2018

On Friday, the lower house of the Polish Parliament approved a bill that outlaws phrases linking the nation of Poland to the Nazis, such as "Polish death camps." This bill prescribes potential prison time for using any of these phrases for speaking against the country.

According to World Israel News, this bill is a response to foreign media consistently using the phrase "Polish death camps" when describing the Nazi-run camps located in Poland, such as Auschwitz. In 2012, former President Barack Obama referred to the camps in this way while awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a resistance fighter during the Holocaust.

During the ceremony, Obama said that Karski “served as a courier for the Polish resistance during the darkest days of World War II. Before one trip across enemy lines, resistance fighters told him that Jews were being murdered on a massive scale and smuggled him into the Warsaw Ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself. Jan took that information to President Franklin Roosevelt, giving one of the first accounts of the Holocaust and imploring to the world to take action."

 

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1. The Comments are (as always) Interesting. Ah Yes The Vox Populi!

2. Poland was at the time (like most of Europe/America) Pretty Anti-Semitic....Not as bad as Austria, which was The Worst but pretty bad.

3. Question: Are we returning to The Good Old Days? When it was socially acceptable.

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Death Camps Weren’t 'Polish' - but Poles Were Bad Enough to Jews Without Them, Holocaust Historian Says

New bill ‘is creating an atmosphere of fear in Poland to talk about these issues’ and will make work of those who research Poland during the Holocaust difficult, if not impossible.

Judy Maltz

Jan 28, 2018

The heated controversy over new Polish legislation that would criminalize any mention of Polish complicity in the Holocaust has underscored how differently Jews and Poles perceive that era.

As many Jews see it, the Nazis would not have been able to execute their “Final Solution” were it not for the help and support of a rabidly anti-Semitic Polish population. It is no coincidence, they say, that the main Nazi death camps were set up on Polish soil.

The Poles, for their part, insist they were no less victimized than the Jews. And where else but in their country, they ask, did so many risk their lives to save Jews?

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Poland’s President Says Will Sign Holocaust Bill, Defying Critics

Pawel Sobczak

2/6/18

WARSAW (Reuters) – 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".

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 historical 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 anti-Semitism.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Holocaust speech law in Poland prompts second thoughts

Karen Townsend

February 25, 2018

In an update to a piece written by Jazz earlier this month, on Saturday, news broke that Poland has agreed to not enforce a new Holocaust speech law just yet. A delegation is going to Israel to discuss “compromises”.

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In a controversial move, the Polish Parliament in Warsaw passed a law criminalizing references to Poland’s extermination of Jews in World War II.  As though Poland was the real victim in the deaths of Jews, the Holocaust speech law was passed to end any reference to Poland’s participation in the atrocities. President Andrzej Duda is said to be an ally of the PiS nationalist hardliners, for whom the legislation is meant as a sop for its base supporters 

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It is hard to believe that some are hell-bent to assign blame for the Holocaust to the Jews themselves, but there you are. Poland went there. The fact is, some Poles helped the Nazis to murder Jews or turn them over to Germans, and some Poles saved Jews.

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Far from strengthening a narrative that Poles were both heroes and victims of World War II, the legislation triggered increasing scrutiny over Poland’s role in the Shoah.

“As the last witnesses slowly leave us, we see a deliberate and pernicious attempt to rewrite history and marginalize Jewish suffering,” Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesman for Israel’s foreign minister, said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Only 380,000 of Poland’s 3 million Jews, Europe’s largest prewar Jewish community, survived the Holocaust, according to Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. While some Polish civilians participated in the murder of Jews or turned them over to Nazis to avoid being executed for hiding them, others resisted. Yad Vashem has commemorated about 6,700 Poles for rescuing Jews, the largest number of “Righteous Gentiles” in any country.

 

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