After receiving backlash for passing the controversial legislation outlawing claims of Polish complicity in Nazi war crimes, Poland has launched a viral campaign to defend the bill on social media under the tags #GermanDeathCamps, #PolishRighteous and #TestimonyOfTruth.
Watch: Poland’s new campaign
Poland has launched a new social media campaign to defend its controversial law known as the Holocaust bill. The legislation, which was passed on Tuesday last week, outlaws statements claiming Polish complicity in crimes committed by Nazi Germany during the Second World War.
Under the tags #GermanDeathCamps, #PolishRighteous and #TestimonyOfTruth, the Polish government released a series of videos on social media emphasizing the shared suffering of both Poles and Jews during the Nazi occupation of the country. In one such video that has received over 2 million views, a 91-year-old Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor who was involved in Poland’s underground Home Army during the Second World War tells viewers: “Those camps were German camps.”
Poland has also launched an information website titled German Death Camps, where it showcases additional testimonies. It also highlights that the camps were constructed and managed by the Third Reich on Polish soil and emphasizes that both Poles and Jews suffered the consequences.
— Polish PM Office (@PremierRP_en) February 8, 2018
In addition, a Twitter account named United Against Defamation was recently created, featuring Israeli and Jewish articles supporting the new law. The account’s photo consists of the Israeli and Polish flag.
Polish campaign defending Holocaust bill Photo Credit: Screenshot
Israeli and foreign politicians worldwide slammed the recent passing of the bill and tensions between Israel and Poland have been high. Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett claimed the law was an attempt to rewrite history. “The past can’t be rewritten – the Polish people were involved in the murder of Jews,” Bennett said.
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson criticized the legislation in a statement. “The United States is disappointed that the President of Poland has signed legislation that would impose criminal penalties for attributing Nazi crimes to the Polish state,” Tillerson said. “We understand this law will be referred to Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal. Enactment of this law adversely affects freedom of speech and academic inquiry.”