Polish president to signal controversial Holocaust invoice…

Posted February 07, 2018

The president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, announced on Tuesday that he will sign the bill that criminalizes saying the Polish people and nation took part in Nazi crimes during the Holocaust.

"I decided that I would sign the law on the Institute of National Remembrance, and I will give it to the Constitutional Court", Duda said in his statement on the law on the Institute of National Remembrance, the Office of the Polish president said on its official Twitter account on Tuesday afternoon.

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.

The United States, too, has been highly critical of the law, suggesting that it could jeopardize Poland's strategic relations with Israel and the US. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon has said that there is no question the World War II camps in occupied Poland were German death camps.

In a gesture to Israel, Mr Duda said he would send it to the Constitutional Tribunal to check whether its regulations comply with the Polish constitution.

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The United States, a close North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally of Poland, expressed disappointment at Duda's decision.

"Israel and Poland have a common responsibility to investigate and preserve the history of the Holocaust".

"The blood of Polish Jews cries from the ground, and no law will silence it", Bennett later said in a statement. The idea seemed to have been dropped, but made a sudden reappearance when the lower house of parliament approved a bill on January 26, the eve of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Before the outbreak of World War II, Jews lived in Poland for centuries, thriving in some eras and even becoming the world's largest Jewish population at one point.

Israel is furious about the bill, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described as an attempt to rewrite history and deny the Holocaust. "No legislation will change the past", added Bennett.

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"It was my honor", Naftali Bennett said in a statement Monday evening.

Bennett pointed out that although the death camps were indeed "built and operated by the Germans, and we can not allow them to evade responsibility for these actions", nevertheless, he noted that 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".

Moreover, whilst the concentration camps were the site where Jewish people were killed in the millions, the murdering of Poles of Christian and other denominations (numbering in the hundreds of thousands) should not be discounted or forgotten.

"Unfortunately, it is not only the nationalists but also the whole Polish society which will have to pay the price", said Grabowski, who is also a member of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw.

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