The Polish Senate has proposed legislation that will see anyone who links the crimes that were committed by Nazi Germany to the polish people serve a jail sentence. The legislation will see the regulation of the Holocaust speech or anything related to the crimes that were committed by Adolf Hitler and his fellow Nazis. Such a move by Poland has the likelihood of straining the relations between their government with the United States and Israel. The bill has been proposed and sponsored by the Law and Justice Party which is currently in power and on Thursday saw a vote passed which advocated for a three-year jail term sentence for any person who attempts to attribute Nazi Germany crimes to the poles or the state intentionally.
Although there are exceptions provided in the proposal of research and artistic work, the Polish government has made it crystal clear to the world that it will consider the aspects which it regards as facts. The vote that muscled the law through polish legislatures has opened up a diplomatic row with the United States and Israel. Both Tel Aviv and Washington are pushing Poland and its legislators to give a second thought to the bill saying that it is set to undermine academic discourse and the freedom of speech. The spokesperson for the US State Department, Heather Nauert has raised concerns about the repercussions that this proposed legislation that is still in the draft stages could have. She said that if enacted into law, the bill has the potential of undermining Poland’s relationships and strategic interests with both Israel and the United States.
The bill received a 57 to 23 vote in the Polish Senate with only two abstentions. The proposed legislation requires being approved by the Polish president Andrzej Duda to become law. The president of Poland also seems to be in support of the bill, and it is very likely that he will sign it into law. Many Israelis have argued that the legislation is intended to whitewash the role that was played by some poles in the massacre of Jews in World War II which would come to be known as the Holocaust. One of the survivors of the Holocaust, Halina Birenbaum termed the law as total madness. Birenbaum who is also a writer said that the law was disproportionate and ludicrous of the events that transpired to Jews in Poland. She argued that if the law were passed, she would be arrested in Poland for saying the truth.