Headlines from Poland

In Poland, the headlines have recently been focused on international affairs. It all started with a proposition for a new law regarding the Holocaust and Poles’ role in it. The Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) expressed its concern about the country’s reputation. Many times has it been falsely presented as an ally of the Nazis when they built death camps on the Polish land during World War II.

The proposed bill would ban expressions such as “Polish death camps” which are historically incorrect. However, there are obvious issues with the legislation. Not all Polish people were innocent. Even though many of them rescued Jews from the Holocaust, there were some who cooperated with Nazis. Therefore, the idea of punishing, with up to three years in prison, anyone who implies that Poles had any contribution to the Holocaust, would be “liable to blur the historical truths regarding the assistance the Germans received from the Polish population”, as Yad Vashem said in a statement.

Western countries such as the United States and Canada have said that they are worried that the legislation will have a significant impact on the freedom of speech in conversations having to do with the Holocaust. Even Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, as well as a former prime minister of Poland, has commented on it on his Twitter, harshly criticizing the actions taken by the authors of the bill.

Though it seems that everyone is against it, the ruling party still hopes that the legislation will become a law. Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of the ruling party and one of Poland’s most influential politicians, said that he expects the President to sign the bill. Whether it happens or not, is still an unknown.

by Maria S.