On Friday, January 26, the Polish parliament approved a controversial law forbidding any mention of participation of the “Polish nation” in crimes committed during the Holocaust.
The law also forbids use of the term “Polish death camps” to describe the compounds where Jews and others were murdered in Nazi-occupied Poland during the Second World War. Anyone who violates the new law, including non-Polish citizens, will be liable to a fine or imprisonment of up to three years.
The implication of the new law means that, in theory, Jewish Holocaust survivors from Poland who lives in Israel, who may make a statement such as “the Polish people were involved in the murder of my grandfather in the Holocaust,” or “my mother was murdered in a Polish death camp,” would be liable for imprisonment in Poland.
Joint List Chairman MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) wrote on Twitter: “The decision of the Polish government is shameful and dangerous. Holocaust denial is linked to one of the darkest moments in history. Only deep recognition of the injustices of the past guarantees the sanctity of life in the future… I propose to the Polish government to quickly cancel its shameful decision. Rewriting history is never a worthy act. The Holocaust cannot be denied.”