Polish Law Criminalizing Some Holocaust Speech Takes Effect

(From AP News)

A Polish law that makes it a crime to accuse the Polish nation of crimes that were committed by Nazi Germany took effect on Thursday, part of a wider effort by the nationalist authorities to harness history to defend the country’s honor and pride.

For years Polish officials have struggled to fight phrases like “Polish death camps” that are sometimes used abroad to refer to Auschwitz and other death camps that Nazi Germany built and operated on occupied Polish territory during World War II.

Some Poles fear that as the war grows more distant, new generations will mistakenly come to believe that Poles were the perpetrators of the Holocaust.

The law, however, has sparked a crisis with Israel, where Holocaust survivors and officials fear its true aim is to repress research and debate about Poles who killed Jews during the war.

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