The Polish League Against Defamation filed the first complaint to be based on Poland’s controversial Holocaust bill on Friday. The case was filed against an Argentinian newspaper and a journalist for using a photograph of Polish resistance fighters to accompany an article about a 1941 pogrom against Jewish poles.


Auschwitz Photo Credit: Isaac Harari/Flash90

A nationalist group in Poland on Friday filed a case against an Argentinian newspaper in a first complaint to be based on the controversial Holocaust bill, which went into effect on Thursday. The law determines that anyone who ascribes responsibility or co-responsibility to the Polish nation for crimes committed by the Third Reich would be liable to a fine or imprisonment for up to three years.

The conservative Polish League Against Defamation (RDI), a Warsaw-based non-profit, filed the case against the Argentinian newspaper Pagina 12 due to an article from December which showcased a photograph of anti-Communist Polish resistance fighters in an article about the Jedwabne pogrom, the massacre which resulted in the death of at least 340 Polish Jews by their Polish neighbors in 1941.  

According to a report in AFP, RDI accused the newspaper and journalist Federico Pavlovsky of harming the reputation of the Polish nation. The group, which has a history of filing such lawsuits before the legislation, had previously filed suits against the French Le Parisien for using the term “Polish death camps” and against the BBC for “accusing Polish train drivers of complicity in the Holocaust,” in 2017.

As previously reported by JOL, no agreements have been reached so far in the first round of talks between Polish and Israeli officials on the Holocaust bill, which has sparked a diplomatic rift between the two countries. “We are here to answer all questions and provide requested clarifications,” said Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister at the start of the sessions on Thursday.