Poland approves draft Holocaust law

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By Euronews
Holocaust memorial building
Holocaust memorial building

Polish lawmakers have approved draft legislation penalising suggestions of complicity by Poland in the Nazi Holocaust on its soil during World War Two.

Violators could face three years in prison for a mention of 'Polish death camps'.

Some experts believe the new law could have the opposite effect and highlight Poland's collaboration with the Nazi regime.

"It is unacceptable for me, an historian and a liberal person, to threaten someone with prison because he or she gives his or her opinion based on research," says Hungarian historian, Laszlo Karsai. "Polish lawmakers are using the 'Turkish' way. They are faking their own history. You can get three years in prison if you say there was an Armenian genocide in Turkey."

The ruling Law and Justice party has a nationalist agenda and has reignited debate on the issue as part of a campaign to fuel patriotism.

Andras Domany, a Hungarian journalist and expert in Polish politics, believes the government is using history for its own political means.

"History is not considered a science by the Polish government, it is a tool for national awareness," he says. "They want to cut all discussion on how some Polish people collaborated with the Nazi regime or participated in killing Jews."

Germany occupied Poland in 1939 and later built death camps, including Auschwitz and Treblinka, on Polish soil.