As the debate regarding the controversial Polish Holocaust bill continues, European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans stressed on Thursday that there were both heroes and collaborators in the European countries that were occupied by the Nazis during the Second World War.

Archival photographs on display at Yad Vashem

Archival photographs on display at Yad Vashem Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/Flash 90

On Thursday, European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans appeared to criticize the controversial bill that seeks to criminalize accusations of Polish complicity in the Holocaust, which was passed by lawmakers in Warsaw last night. Timmermans stated that while there were heroes who fought against the Nazi occupation in European countries, there were also those who collaborated with the regime and helped it carry out murderous war crimes. However, Timmermans stressed that the Nazis were the ones responsible for the death camps.

Earlier today, the Foreign Ministry in Warsaw released a statement in which it defended the bill and said that it hopes that Poland’s relations with the United States will not suffer because of the draft legislation’s advancement.

“Despite differences of opinion on the draft legislation, we believe that the current legislative work under way in Poland to develop legal solutions that would protect historical truth will not affect Poland’s strategic partnership with the Unite[d] States,” the ministry said.

As reported earlier by JOL, Israeli lawmakers have spoken out against the bill and its passing in the Polish Senate. MK Yair Lapid tweeted, “No Polish law can make history change. We’ll never forget.” MK Tzipi Livni also criticized the decision of the Polish Senate, saying that it is a betrayal of the truth and a disgrace to the Jewish state and the Israeli prime minister.