Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Holocaust bill row is 'misunderstanding': Polish minister

Holocaust bill row is 'misunderstanding': Polish minister

"Israel noted the fact that the Polish president referred the law to the Constitutional Court for clarifications on the matter, and hopes that in the period before the verdict is, it will be possible to agree on changes and amendments to the law", it said in a statement.

Jews from across the continent were sent to be killed at death camps built and operated by Germans in occupied Poland - home to Europe's biggest Jewish community at the time - including Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor.

Israel's ambassador to Poland Anna Azari, however, told the Polish PAP news agency that Israel believes the bill could open the door to prosecuting Holocaust survivors for their testimony should it concern the involvement of individual Poles allegedly killing or giving up Jews to the Germans.

Duda's move comes despite a warning by the United States, of which Poland is a staunch ally, that the legislation could damage Warsaw's relations with America as well as with Israel.

The legislation, proposed by Poland's conservative ruling party, has sparked a bitter dispute with Israel, which says it will inhibit free speech about the Holocaust.

The Polish government says it aims to stop the Polish nation or state being blamed for the atrocities.

The law would make it illegal to accuse the nation of complicity in crimes committed by Nazi Germany, including the Holocaust.

2-year-old found frozen to death on porch
Results from an autopsy are expected soon - the medical examiner's office however said she suffered from severe hypothermia. The girl's mother frantically called 911 around 3:30 p.m., screaming that her daughter was freezing outside on the porch.

Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it will continue to discuss the bill with Poland.

The bill was passed by the Polish parliament before being presented to President Duda. After analyzing the situation and the bill, I have decided that I will sign it.

He says that while Poles who helped save Jews during the Holocaust should be recognized, Poland should also acknowledge that many Poles were complicit in aiding the Nazis.

"One can not change history, and the Holocaust can not be denied", Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement last week. It is the opinion of this author that the use of the term "Polish death camps" is misleading and simply untrue.

Poland has canceled Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett's Wednesday visit this week because of his recent statement about the law.

But he said the point of the law is to prevent the Polish nation as a whole from being wrongly accused of institutionalized participation in the Holocaust.

Some risked their lives and those of their families to shelter Jews; almost 7,000 have been recognized as "Righteous Among the Nations" by Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center. We are victims of the Holocaust too, and saying that death camps or concentration camps were "Polish" is a crime. But research published since the fall of communism in 1989 showed that thousands also killed Jews or denounced those who hid them to the Nazi occupiers, challenging the national narrative that Poland was exclusively a victim.

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