- Poland has fought for years against the false narrative that it helped the Nazis
- Lawmakers passed the bill on Friday making it illegal to use suggestive phrases
- Also illegal to deny the murder of 100,000 Poles by Ukrainian Insurgent Army
New laws in Poland make it a criminal offence to suggest the country had anything to do with crimes committed by Nazi Germany.
Polish lawmakers approved the bill on Friday, making it punishable by up to three years in jail to use suggestive statements like ‘Polish death camps’.
Poles have fought for years against the use of phrases which suggest Poland was at least partly responsible for the camps where millions of people, mostly Jews, were killed by Nazi Germany.
A new law passed in Poland on Friday make it a criminal offence to suggest the country had anything to do with crimes committed by Nazi Germany
The camps were built and operated by the Nazis after they invaded Poland in 1939.
‘This amendment equips Poland with the most important tools that have long been at the disposal of other countries’ Deputy Justice Minister Patryk Jaki told state news agency PAP.
Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has invoked Poles’ suffering under Nazi occupation – including a death penalty for those who helped Jews – to respond to historical accounts that some Poles also committed crimes against the Jews during the war.
PiS is currently battling accusations from the opposition that the party’s nationalist-minded, eurosceptic focus was helping to reinvigorate the far right.
The bill will also make it illegal to deny the murder of about 100,000 Poles by units in the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) during World War II.
Poles have fought for years against the use the phrase ‘Polish death camps’ which suggest Poland was at least partly responsible for the camps where millions people, mostly Jews, were killed by Nazis
The move could increase tensions with neighbouring Ukraine, although artistic and scientific activity will be exempt.
The head of the Ukrainian national remembrance institute said on social media on Thursday that passing of the bill was likely to halt cooperation between Ukrainian and Polish historians.
In November, Ukraine summoned the Polish ambassador in an escalation of a diplomatic spat over the two neighbours’ troubled past.