Wiesenthal Center Calls Polish Holocaust Bill “An Ill-Conceived Attempt To Whitewash The Widespread Participation Of Individual Poles In The Persecution And Murder Of Jews During The Holocaust.”

February 1, 2018

“The passage yesterday of the Polish bill criminalizing any reference to complicity by the Polish state in Holocaust crimes and outlawing use of the term ‘Polish death camps’, is an ill-conceived attempt to whitewash the widespread participation of individual Poles in the persecution and murder of Jews during the Holocaust. While the term ‘Polish death camps’ is historically inaccurate and should not be used under any circumstances, the other elements of this bill are a crass attempt to silence any discussion of the widespread phenomenon of complicity by individual Poles in Holocaust crimes, as well as the murder of numerous Jews by members of the Armia Krajowa, the nationalist military arm of the Polish government-in-exile in London.                                                                                                     

“We fully acknowledge the suffering of the Polish under a brutal Nazi occupation and the incredibly courageous efforts of Polish ‘Righteous Among the Nations’, but we will not and the Polish nation must not ignore the widespread complicity of other Poles in the annihilation of Polish Jewry.

“We urge the Polish authorities to take whatever steps are necessary to bury this ill-conceived bill and ensure the accuracy of the historical narrative of World War II and the Holocaust.

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s senior staff on both sides of the Atlantic are contacting the US State Department, US Congress, the EU, and all democracies who just commemorated International Holocaust Day to urge their immediate and direct condemnation of this outrage.”

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).