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First Poland Holocaust law complaint targets Argentina paper

2 min

Warsaw (AFP)

An Argentinian newspaper has become the first outlet to be targeted by Poland's controversial new Holocaust law, after a nationalist group filed a case on Friday hours after the legislation went live.

The law, which went into effect Thursday, sets fines or up to three years in jail for anyone ascribing "responsibility or co-responsibility to the Polish nation or state for crimes committed by the German Third Reich".

The main aim is to prevent people from erroneously describing Nazi German death camps in Poland, such as Auschwitz-Birkenau, as Polish.

The legislation has drawn widespread international criticism and ignited an unprecedented diplomatic row with Israel.

Critics, including Israel's government, have expressed concerns that the legislation could open the door to prosecuting Holocaust survivors for their testimony should it concern the involvement of individual Poles in killing or giving up Jews to the Germans.

On Friday the Polish League Against Defamation (RDI), a non-profit which is close to Poland's conservative government, lodged a case under the new law against the website of Pagina 12, a newspaper in Argentina.

The RDI said the paper had used a picture of anti-Communist Polish resistance fighters from after World War Two in an article about the Jedwabne pogrom, a 1941 massacre of more than 300 Jews by their Polish neighbours during the Nazi occupation.

RDI accused the newspaper and its journalist Federico Pavlovsky of "an action intended to harm the Polish nation and the good reputation of Polish soldiers".

Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany in World War II, losing six million of its citizens, including three million Jews.

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