Polish president signs highly controversial Holocaust bill, drawing rare U.S. rebuke

Polish president signs highly controversial Holocaust bill, drawing rare U.S. rebuke

Asked if the European Union would take measures in response to the controversial Holocaust law, signed into law by Poland's President Andrzej Duda yesterday, Le Drian said he hoped "moral pressure will be sufficient", AFP reports. "We believe that open debate, scholarship, and education are the best means of countering misleading speech".

"The blood of Polish Jews cries from the ground, and no law will silence it", Bennett later said in a statement.

"But it is also a success for the image, not only of PolskieRadio.pl or Polish Radio but. of Poland", Chęciński said, attributing the record to the website's availability in three languages: Polish, English and German.

"Enactment of this law adversely affects freedom of speech and academic inquiry", said Tillerson in a statement released by the U.S. State Department.

Markiewicz said the American Jewish Committee agreed that those crimes were committed by individuals and that the term "Polish death camps", was "unjust and untrue" but cautioned that an extensive ban on freedom of speech was the wrong way forward.

It also criminalises denial of crimes against Poles by Ukrainian collaborators with Nazi Germany.

In the first decades after the end of World War II, most survivors did not want to talk about what they had experienced in the camps and ghettoes and in hiding, and most outsiders had no interest in asking. The Nazis operated six extermination camps in Poland, including the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

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He added that he would ask the Constitutional Tribunal for a number of clarifications about the bill.

Israel's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that it would continue to communicate with Poland despite its reservations about the law. "A scholar associated with a university might be excluded, but what about a schoolteacher who shares some of the disgusting stories that happened in Poland?"

According to the statement, the UINR, which provided for the functioning of the Ukrainian-Polish forum of historians from the Ukrainian side, does not see any opportunities for continuing the work in the previous format, alternately in Poland and Ukraine.

The legislation, which still needs the president's signature to take effect, was introduced by Poland's governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party to stop people from erroneously describing Nazi German death camps as being Polish, simply due to their geographical location.

"We hope that within allotted time until the court's deliberations are concluded, we will manage to agree on changes and corrections", the spokesperson said.

More Poles have been honoured by Israel for saving the lives of Jews during the war than any other nation.

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