Polish Holocaust law threatens U.S. and European Union ties

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Polish Holocaust law threatens U.S. and European Union ties

The bill prescribes penalties for those who blame Poles as a nation for crimes committed by Nazi Germany during World War II.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the USA understands that phrases like "Polish death camps" are "inaccurate, misleading, and hurtful", but voiced concern the legislation could undermine free speech and academic discourse.

Poland is the location of several former concentration campus, including Auschwitz-Birkenau, where 1 million people - nearly all of them Jews - were systematically killed in World War II.

According to figures from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Nazis, who invaded Poland in 1939, also killed at least 1.9 million non-Jewish Polish civilians.

More than three million of the 3.2 million Jews who lived in pre-war Poland were murdered by the Nazis, accounting for about half of all Jews killed in the Holocaust. However Poland's government spokeswoman said there would be no such visit.

"The legislation will not help further the exposure of historical truth and may harm freedom of research", Israel's Foreign Ministry said in a statement in January.

Polish Radio's educational website GermanDeathCamps.info has had more than 100,000 hits since its launch in the wake of worldwide backlash at a Polish law to penalise the use of the phrase "Polish death camps".

Bloch, who spent his post-Holocaust years working in the vineyards of Holocaust remembrance, serving as an executive of the World Jewish Congress/Jewish Agency, and as a lay leader of a host of Jewish and Israel-centered organizations, kept the memory and lessons of the Holocaust alive in days when he was a minority in the survivor community.

The department warned that if the legislation is signed, it could have repercussions for "Poland's strategic interests and relationships". Nearly six million of our citizens lost their lives in World War II.

"But it is also a success for the image, not only of PolskieRadio.pl or Polish Radio but. of Poland", Chęciński said, attributing the record to the website's availability in three languages: Polish, English and German.

Like people in other parts of German-occupied Europe, Poles reacted to the mass killing of Jews in different ways.

It would make it a crime to accuse the Polish state of complicity in the Holocaust. It said in a statement that the law's "flaws are liable to result in the distortion of history due to the limitations that the law places on public expressions".

During a televised address on Tuesday, Duda justified his decision by emphasizing that "we need to protect the good name of the Polish people and Poland both".

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