November 21, 2018

Poland Nixes Prison Sentence in Holocaust Law

Poland’s controversial Holocaust law has been amended to nix jail time for those who claim that Poland deserves some blame for the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Originally the law, which into effect in February, threatened to impose a three-year prison sentence on violators. After Polish President Andrezj Duda signed an amendment into law on June 27, the offense is now civil instead of criminal.

“We believe that there is a common responsibility to conduct free research, to promote understanding and to preserve the memory of the history of the Holocaust,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in a joint statement. “We have always agreed that the term ‘Polish concentration/death camps’ is blatantly erroneous and diminishes the responsibility of Germans for establishing those camps.”

However, Simon Wiesenthal Center Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper argued that the law should have been repealed altogether.

“The Wiesenthal Center urges the Polish government to rescind a law that never should have been introduced in the first place,” Cooper said in a statement. “It only succeeded in creating a global outcry against a heavy-handed attempt to rewrite the history of the Nazi Shoah and the well-documented virulent anti-Semitism that existed in Poland before during and after WWII.”