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New law makes it illegal to accuse Poles in the Holocaust* | Daily Mail Online

Poland's senate has passed a law which makes it illegal to accuse Poles of being complicit in the Holocaust or describe concentration camps in the country as Polish.
Jewish groups say the law tries to rewrite history by denying that some Poles assisted the Nazis.
The bill, which must be signed into law by the President, has caused a major diplomatic row with Israel, with one Israeli minister calling it a 'spit in the face.'



The upper house of parliament on Wednesday voted 57-23, with two abstentions, to approve the bill which sets fines or maximum three-year jail


The lower house of parliament, which like the senate is controlled by the governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, had passed the bill last Friday - triggering the protest from abroad.
Israel called for the bill to be dropped, seeing one of its provisions as an attempt to deny Polish involvement in Nazi Germany's extermination of Jews.
Israeli lawmakers penned a proposed bill of their own Wednesday amending Israel's law regarding Holocaust denial, so that diminishing or denying the role of those who aided the Nazis in crimes against Jews would be punishable with jail.
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Before the vote on the Polish bill, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert expressed 'concern' that 'if enacted this draft legislation could undermine free speech and academic discourse'.
'We are also concerned about the repercussions this draft legislation... could have on Poland's strategic interests and relationships - including with the United States and Israel,' she added.
To take effect, the legislation still needs to be signed by Polish President Andrzej Duda, who on Monday had said he was 'flabbergasted' by Israel's 'violent and very unfavourable reaction'.
'We absolutely can't back down, we have the right to defend the historical truth,' he added.
Poland was attacked and occupied by Nazi Germany in World War II, losing six million of its citizens including three million Jews.
Helping Jews, even offering them a glass of water, was punishable by death in occupied Poland.






More than 6,700 Poles - outnumbering any other nationality - have been honoured as 'Righteous Among the Nations', a title given to non-Jews who stood up to the Nazis, by Jerusalem's Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem.
Yad Vashem said it opposes the Polish bill, as it 'is liable to blur the historical truths regarding the assistance the Germans received from the Polish population during the Holocaust
 

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All just words. When someone says "Polish death camps" without further description, it is unclear if the death camps were owned by Poles or if they were located in Poland.

In much the same way the Canadian government passed a motion condemning Islamophobia. Which can mean it is unacceptable to hate the religion of Islam.
Pierre Elliot Trudeau said that the government had no place in Canadians’ bedrooms. But it appears his son thinks that the government does have a place in Canadians’ minds.

Similarly, the Canadian government just announced that government grants to charity organizations that provide summer jobs for students, will not be awarded to charities that do not approve of abortion on demand. Such lack of approval does not reflect Canadian values, says our great leader, who once professed admiration for the Chinese system of government, because the government there can do what it wants.
 

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Poland was attacked and occupied by Nazi Germany in World War II, losing six million of its citizens including three million Jews.
Helping Jews, even offering them a glass of water, was punishable by death in occupied Poland.
Doesn't look revisionist to me.
 

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Yes, some Poles were Nazi collaborators. The Polish Parliament is trying to legislate that away.


On Jan. 26, the day before Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Polish Parliament approved a controversial draft law outlawing the term “Polish extermination camp” and criminalizing discussion of any Polish crimes relating to the Holocaust.

The law’s language is slightly arcane and even ambiguous about scholarly work, but its purpose is clear: to restrict discussion of Polish complicity. Violation is punishable with a fine or imprisonment of up to three years. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians have condemned the law, which threatens serious diplomatic tensions.

Polish legislators say they are simply trying to correct the record, clarifying that Germans, not Poles, built and ran the Nazi extermination camps in occupied Poland. Many Poles surely feel unfairly blamed for Nazi crimes when the camps are characterized as “Polish.”

Scholars do not, as a rule, refer to the camps as Polish. However, a growing body of research both within and outside Poland has established that some Poles were indeed complicit in the Nazi crimes. Even if Poles did not create the extermination camps, some of them collaborated. That cannot be legislated away.


Consider the weeks after the German invasion of eastern Poland on June 22, 1941. Public authority collapsed in the face of the advancing German army. In many communities, local Poles and other non-Jews beat, robbed, raped and murdered their Jewish neighbors. Our forthcoming book, “Intimate Violence: Anti-Jewish Pogroms on the Eve of the Holocaust,” documents 219 such pogroms in cities and small towns across eastern Poland, nearly 10 percent of the 2,304 localities where Jews and non-Jews dwelled together. Ethnic Poles were the primary perpetrators in approximately 25 percent of the pogroms; in the remaining instances, ethnic Ukrainians predominated.

Some argue that the Germans compelled Poles and other non-Jews to commit violence. It’s true that the Germans did encourage non-Jews to do their dirty work; some pogroms took place with the Germans observing. But in many other cases, the violence began before the Germans arrived or after they left.


A minority of towns were like Szczuczyn, where many Poles fanned out to kill their Jewish neighbors

Consider Szczuczyn, a town of approximately 5,400 inhabitants located near the Lithuanian border that was half Polish and half Jewish. The Germans arrived immediately after the war began and pushed on quickly, leaving behind a small field troop. That same night, groups of local Poles fanned out on the main streets and began murdering the town’s Jews. Not all Poles participated in these crimes, but many did.

According to Chaya Soika-Golding, a Jewish survivor from Szczuczyn, the perpetrators roamed the main streets and broke into apartments to steal goods and to murder women and children. In 1945, she wrote a letter to a friend, explaining, “They killed Rozental’s children in the marketplace. They had also killed Kheytshe with her six-month-old child at breast and her older boy Grishen.” One Polish eyewitness reported seeing someone grab a Jewish child by the foot and smash the child’s head on the ground. The testimony we’ve assembled reveals that these events had a carnival-like atmosphere to them. In the end, approximately 300 of Szczuczyn’s 2,500 Jews died in this festival of violence.

And as strange as it may sound, here’s what brought the violence to an end: The town’s Jewish women appealed not to the Polish elite, who refused to do anything, but to the otherwise diffident local German troops, bribing them to stop the pogrom.

[--------------- snipped ------------------]
 

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Disturbing.

But not surprising.

Since the war ravaged Europe, they’ve enacted several anti speech laws.

There is no such thing as “freedom of speech” in Europe. That’s why I stay here.
 

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The history was tough for both Jews and Poles. This media war just looks like a battle for who was more a victim now.
Some Polish people were murdering Jews and gave up them to Germans, but it doesn't mean the whole Polish nation was participating in it. There were many example of Polish people who saved Jews, was hiding them, even if it was punished by death by Germans.

I think a new law has gone too far, the education and correcting an false statements should be enough.
But current Polish government and a lot of people don't understand that. They feel that the destruction of Poland and a death of milions of Poles during WWII wasn't rewarded enough. They see that the Jews are still claiming reparations and they can't do it. In America was adopted a new law recently about reperations for Jews and some of Poles fear that they will have to pay it instead of Germans.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/447/text

The worst thing is that it's used for political benefits now. Instead of dialogue, this just makes a hatred spiral bigger.
 
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All just words. When someone says "Polish death camps" without further description, it is unclear if the death camps were owned by Poles or if they were located in Poland.
Solution for any such potential confusion is more education, not a stupid law.
 

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Solution for any such potential confusion is more education, not a stupid law.
Do you have the same opinion about Laws against Holocaust denial? Or in this case law is not stupid?
 

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But current Polish government and a lot of people don't understand that. They feel that the destruction of Poland and a death of milions of Poles during WWII wasn't rewarded enough. They see that the Jews are still claiming reparations and they can't do it. In America was adopted a new law recently about reperations for Jews and some of Poles fear that they will have to pay it instead of Germans.
What a mess. This world is stupid. Should move forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Israeli minister 'honored' to be barred from Poland over Holocaust bill

WARSAW/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel’s education minister said on Monday he was “honored” Poland had canceled his visit to Warsaw this week because he refused to back off of condemnation of a bill that would outlaw suggesting Poland was complicit in the Holocaust.





Earlier on Monday, Naftali Bennett said he would travel to Poland to discuss the bill, which Israeli officials have said amounts to Holocaust denial. However Poland’s government spokeswoman said there would be no such visit.
“The blood of Polish Jews cries from the ground, and no law will silence it,” Bennett later said in a statement. “The government of Poland canceled my visit, because I mentioned the crimes of its people. I am honored.”
After Bennett’s statement, the government spokeswoman declined to comment further on the issue.



Israel has denounced the Polish Holocaust bill, which passed in parliament last week and is awaiting a decision by President Andrzej Duda over whether to sign it.
The Polish measure would impose prison sentences of up to three years for mentioning the term “Polish death camps” and for suggesting “publicly and against the facts” that the Polish nation or state was complicit in Nazi Germany’s crimes.



Poland’s rightwing nationalist government says the bill is necessary to protect the reputation of Poles as victims of Nazi aggression. Israel says the law would ban true statements about the role that some Poles played in Nazi crimes.
The bill has drawn criticism from the United States and condemnation from a number of international organizations as well as Polish minority groups.



Poland, which had Europe’s biggest Jewish population when it was invaded by both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union at the start of World War Two, became ground zero for the “final solution”, Hitler’s plan to exterminate the Jews of Europe.
More than three million of Poland’s 3.2 million Jews were murdered by the Nazis, accounting for about half of the Jews killed in the Holocaust. Jews from across the continent were sent to be killed at death camps built and operated by Germans in Poland, including Auschwitz, Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor.
According to figures from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Nazis also killed at least 1.9 million non-Jewish Polish civilians.
“The death camps in Poland were built and operated by the Germans, and we cannot allow them to evade responsibility for these actions,” Bennett said.
“However, many Polish people, all over the country, chased, informed or actively took part in the murder of over 200,000 Jews during, and after, the Holocaust. Only a few thousand people, Righteous Among the Nations, risked themselves to save Jews.”
 

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Disturbing.

But not surprising.

Since the war ravaged Europe, they’ve enacted several anti speech laws.

There is no such thing as “freedom of speech” in Europe. That’s why I stay here.
There is no freedom of speech in the U.S. either. Just look at all the rampant censorship on TV, the Internet, etc... hell, this site is censored by American mods/admins even though it is a Canadian owned and hosted site.

meh
 

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It's wrong but Germany is doing the same so they should not complain. It's sad that Europe doesn't have freedom of speech.
 

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A minority of towns were like Szczuczyn, where many Poles fanned out to kill their Jewish neighbors

Consider Szczuczyn, a town of approximately 5,400 inhabitants located near the Lithuanian border that was half Polish and half Jewish. The Germans arrived immediately after the war began and pushed on quickly, leaving behind a small field troop. That same night, groups of local Poles fanned out on the main streets and began murdering the town’s Jews. Not all Poles participated in these crimes, but many did.
Is that for real? We gonna judge people for what they did 73 years ago during a war? You need an explanation of what war is? There were Jews cooperating with Nazis just to help themselves, completely forgetting about their patriotism, but I can't judge any of them.

Why? How many of you ever spend a day in such a danger? How many of you had to thought of moving off somewhere else and leaving your family, just to survive?

Oh, I know what's the answer: none. And I hope it will never change, so please shut up.


And Ukraine has the same law since 2015, but I don't remember such a fuss about it.
 
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Yes we definitely are. And the massacres mentioned were not actions those Poles were forced to do. They were most likely anti-Semitic even before the Nazis came. And I judge willing Jewish collaborators the same way. Both are very different things to those forced to do things because of threats made on their or their family's lives.

War does not make it okay, or even understandable, for civilians to go out and massacre other civilians.
We were an occupied country. France had the Vichy Government but I guess that doesn't bother you. Worldwide ignorance about "Polish death camps" has led to this. Funny thing, Auschwitz and Arbeit Macht Frei aren't even Polish names. I guess that doesn't bother anyone either. Besides how many Americans can even locate Poland on a map? I bet it's less than 20% :lol: Americans teaching Polish history to Poles is downright insane :rolleyes:
 
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Yes we definitely are.
And how do you do that? How do you know exactly what happened and how? This is seriously sickening. I agree with JustPetko.

In France we have no idea how things turned exactly, who did what, who did not, etc.

Are there reparations going on for the black community in the US? And for the Native Indians? And so on... How much into the past of horrors and crimes must we go?
 

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And how do you do that? How do you know exactly what happened and how? This is seriously sickening. I agree with JustPetko.

In France we have no idea how things turned exactly, who did what, who did not, etc.
We have official reports and the testimony of some who survived. Do you have the approach that you give credence only to what you see yourself? Because to take your approach to a logical extreme we don't know what happened and how in any event of any war.

As for the rest of your post, all I'm stating here is that making discussion of the events and/or the terms used to do so criminal activities is a crime in itself.
 

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Testimony of some who survived are certainly important and must be recorded. I'm not sure about "official" reports. I'm not sure it's still enough. My approach is that we have to keep in mind we cannot judge/accuse without knowing everything, yes. It's a bit "too easy" to judge. It's too self righteous. I do think that long time after crimes are commited in contexts that we may not understand fully, it may be wiser to move on. There are too much "what if". Too much consequences that weren't measured. Too much lies.

Poland was invaded by the Nazi. It's hard to think Poland collaborated in that regard. They "officially" didn't. How can *we* (who?) pick, divide, make percentage of faults and crimes inside an occupied country?
I respect your right to view things that way but I strongly disagree.

There is almost nothing, even in current events, that we know everything about. There's just no way to do that. We have to judge events, current or past, based on gleaning as much as we can. And there's nothing self-righteous about that. Do you think we also should not judge the Nazis who herded innocent and vulnerable people into gas chambers? Come on man, get real. Atrocities don't have a shelf-life. And atrocities are no less atrocities because they were done by citizens of an occupied nation.
That's across the board. In the Polish situation specifically we know that even that antisemitism was on the rise even before the Nazis came.


After World War I, Poland became a democratic independent state with significant minority populations, including Ukrainians, Jews, Belorussians, Lithuanians, and ethnic Germans. However, increasing Polish nationalism made Poland a hostile place for many Jews. A series of pogroms and discriminatory laws were signs of growing antisemitism, while fewer and fewer opportunities to emigrate were available.

https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/resistance-during-holocaust/jewish-life-poland-holocaust

I'll add that since I'm a person who views people by default groupings, I don't "praise or condemn" all or most Polish people because a few thousand of them committed atrocities. Those who did so are the only ones tainted by their actions. Blaming all or most Poles for it is just another version of the steps that led to the sort of horrors visited on the Jewish peoples in WW2.
 

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I'll have two points to answer:

1) atrocities

Who knew the atrocities that were made in those camps? Are you sure to "get real" just being horrified (like me) by what happened there when a major part of the population did not know?

2) anti-semitism

Anti-semitism was real all over Europe (not in Poland only) well before the war, yes. As racism was. I thought we were trying to leave all those silly hates behind and trying to make a better future for all of us. And here I am reading a thread stirring up the past - how good does it mean to be?

I don't know for this Polish bill. I know the government is right wing nationalist. But what is Israel doing on the Gaza strip? See, I'm doing what I don't want to do: throwing oil on the fire.
 
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