Controversial bill one step away from denying Polish Holocaust involvement

The Polish Senate has voted to move forward with the controversial bill denying Polish involvement in Nazi war crimes from World War II. The bill still awaits to be passed by the Polish president, who has expressed support for the bill. He is expected to make a statement at the end of the legislative process.
Israeli MKs visit Auschwitz in 2014 Photo Credit: Haim Zach/GPO

On Wednesday evening, the Polish Senate voted to pass the controversial bill that does not hold Poles accountable for Nazi war crimes committed during the Holocaust. The bill must pass by the Polish president, who has already expressed support for the bill.

This announcement comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, expressing his concerns about the bill. Morawiecki reportedly assured Netanyahu that the two countries would begin an immediate dialogue to address the legislation.

The bill prohibits language indicating Poland’s role in World War II under the Nazi regime for war crimes and terms such as “Polish extermination camp,” which refers to several death camps in Poland that murdered Jews. Offenders of this bill can face paying a fine or up to three years imprisonment.

Polish lawmakers and officials have defended the bill by expressing its intentions to prevent a distortion of the truth. Many critics of the bill have conveyed concerns about a potential rise of anti-Semitism in Poland and abroad. The Polish president is to make a statement about the bill at the end of the legislative process.

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