Israeli Minister 'Honored' to be Barred From Poland Over Holocaust Bill

Israeli Minister 'Honored' to be Barred From Poland Over Holocaust Bill

Israeli Minister 'Honored' to be Barred From Poland Over Holocaust Bill

In announcing that he would sign the legislation, Duda added that he would send it to Poland's Constitutional Tribunal for review.

Israeli officials and Holocaust scholars said it would allow Poland to whitewash the role of Poles who killed or denounced Jews during Nazi Germany's occupation of Poland during the Second World War. Some people in Poland believe that the narrative focusing on the Holocaust as a tragedy of the Jewish people sidelines the non-Jewish victims.

He said the decision "preserves the interests of Poland, our dignity and the historical truth" and also "takes into account the sensitivity of those for whom the question of historical memory of the Holocaust remains exceptionally important, especially those who have survived and who, as long as they can, should tell the world about this past and their experience". Polish institutions did not collaborate with Germans.

More than 6,700 Poles - outnumbering any other nationality - have been honored by Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial as "Righteous Among the Nations", a title given to non-Jews who stood up to the Nazis.

Under a new law passed in Poland on February 1, any suggestion the country was complicit in the Holocaust could land offenders in jail.

Analysts say that the legislation has isolated Poland from Israel, a key ally of the United States and neighbouring Ukraine.

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"The issue is the legitimate and essential freedom to talk about the involvement of Poles in the murder of Jews without fear or threat of penalization", he said.

"We call on the president of the Republic of Poland to use his constitutional powers and, in conjunction with the Sejm and the Senate of the Republic of Poland, to bring deliberateness, rationality and benevolence back to Ukrainian-Polish relations", the statement reads.

Poland is the location of several former concentration campus, including Auschwitz-Birkenau, where 1 million people - nearly all of them Jews - were systematically killed in World War II.

Poland's president says he will sign into law a controversial proposal to outlaw blaming Poland for crimes committed during the Holocaust. Warsaw's attempt to distance itself from those events criminalizes among other things the expression "Polish death camps", which it considers an implication that the Polish nation was complicit in the extermination program. "The existence of certain collaborators does not change anything", Gabriel said. At least 1.9 million non-Jewish Polish citizens were killed by the Nazis as well.

While "Polish" is nearly always used as a geographic description in that context, Poles feel the phrase cruelly portrays their country as having been in charge of the Nazi-run camps, while in fact Poles made up the largest group of victims after Jews.

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