Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Global Competitiveness report releases 2018 Africa performance

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Brexit: 'The end isn't nigh'

Read more

THE DEBATE

Where do you draw the line? Brexit deadline summit stumbles over Irish border

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

Uighurs and Kazakhs held in re-education camps in China

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Salim Saab: Showcasing the women of the Arab art world

Read more

FOCUS

Irish border remains stumbling block in Brexit talks

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: Capernaum - powerful social drama or poverty porn?

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Nature under threat: Arresting pictures from Wildlife Photography Awards

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Protecting heritage land against mining companies

Read more

Europe

Polish president to sign controversial Holocaust bill into law

© Gali Tibbon, AFP | This file photo, taken on January 17, 2017, shows Polish President Andrzej Duda laying a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Israel.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2018-02-06

Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Tuesday that he will sign a contested Holocaust bill into law, despite protests from Israel and the United States, and will refer the text to Poland's constitutional court for possible changes.

The measure imposes prison sentences of up to three years for mentioning the term "Polish death camps" and for suggesting "publicly and against the facts" that the Polish nation or state was complicit in Nazi Germany's crimes.

Duda also said he will ask the Constitutional Tribunal for clarifications about the bill. Those are likely to be issued after it goes into effect.

>> Read more: 'A will to rewrite history' behind Polish Holocaust speech law

Poland's right-wing government says the law is necessary to protect the reputation of Poles as victims of Nazi aggression.

But Israel has warned that the law could be used to ban true statements about the role that some Poles played in Nazi crimes.

The US State Department has also expressed concern that the bill "could undermine free speech and academic discourse".

Blurring 'historical truths'

Poland was attacked and occupied by Nazi Germany in World War II, losing six million of its citizens including three million Jews. Helping Jews, even offering them a glass of water, was punishable by death in occupied Poland.

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

Yad Vashem said it opposes the Polish bill, as it "is liable to blur the historical truths regarding the assistance the Germans received from the Polish population during the Holocaust".

But it added that to refer to the extermination camps the Nazis built in Poland as Polish is "a historical misrepresentation".

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS and AP)

Date created : 2018-02-06

  • POLAND

    'A will to rewrite history' behind Polish Holocaust speech law

    Read more

  • POLAND - ISRAEL

    Polish senate passes Holocaust bill despite Israeli protests

    Read more

  • ISRAEL - POLAND

    Israel slams bill to outlaw blaming Poles for Holocaust crimes

    Read more

COMMENT(S)