Published: Thu, February 08, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

France joins US, Israel in Poland Holocaust law condemnation

France joins US, Israel in Poland Holocaust law condemnation

But critics say it was a diversionary tactic.

Neumann, head of the party's parliamentary caucus, also described the constitutional court as a body without independence that will rule as the governing party wants.

The State Department had warned last week that such a law could have "repercussions" on Poland's relationship with the United States.

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed a highly controversial bill Tuesday that will ban most Holocaust accusations against Poles as well as descriptions of Nazi death camps as Polish - raising tensions with the United States and Israel, which criticized the measure.

Holocaust scholars and institutions strongly denounced the law as well, arguing that its unclear wording created the potential for abuse.

He said he would also ask Poland's Constitutional Tribunal to evaluate the bill, including whether it should be amended.

Tillerson said in a statement that Washington frowns upon Duda's authorization of the law.

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"We do not deny that there were cases of huge wickedness", he said in a speech.

Poland will now be able to jail people accusing the country of Holocaust atrocities. "Who is going to determine what artistic or academic expression means?"

Polish President Andrzej Duda has said there were no Polish concentration camps, but "such camps were built on the territory of the Polish state, which was non-existent at the time, by Germans, by Nazis".

Israeli legislators have in response drafted a bill that would offer support to any Holocaust survivors or educators prosecuted under the new Polish law. "No legislation will change the past", Bennett said. "But in the past few days, the term "Polish death camp" has probably been used more than ever in the past years".

On Monday evening, a small group of far-right advocates demonstrated in front of the presidential palace demanding that Duda sign the law. One banner read: "Take off your yarmulke and sign the bill". The bill, whose debate in parliament coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day in Poland and other European lands, is interpreted by many Jews as an endorsement of the kind of Holocaust denial that Bloch's lifelong work opposed. Millions of its citizens were killed, including three million Polish Jews in the Holocaust.

He said that his decision "preserves the interests of Poland , our dignity and the historical truth" and also "takes into account the sensitivity of those for whom the question of historical memory of the Holocaust remains exceptionally important, especially those who have survived and who, as long as they can, should tell the world about this past and their experience".

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