The Polish opposition called on the President to veto the law on the Holocaust

© AFP 2018 / Janek SkarzynskiПолиция at the Embassy of Israel in Warsaw. 31 Jan 2018The Polish opposition called on the President to veto the law on the Holocaust© 2018 AFP / Janek Skarzynski

Largest Polish opposition party «Civic platform» calls on the President of Poland Andrzej Duda to veto the law on the Holocaust, said the Deputy Chairman of the party, Tomas Samonac reporters on Thursday in Warsaw.

The Senate (upper house of Parliament) of Poland last night adopted a law on criminal liability for propaganda of the ideology of Ukrainian nationalists, the denial of the Volyn massacre and allegations of complicity of poles with the Nazis during the Second world war. For the bill voted by 57 senators, mostly from the ruling party «law and justice» (PiS), 23 voted against and two abstained. The law will take effect after it is signed by the President Andrzej Duda.

«We are dealing with the most serious crisis in the Polish foreign policy after 1989,» said Samonac.

He «on behalf of the Civic platform and the democratic community of Poland» urged President Andrzej Duda «sovetovat the law.»

He also called on the Chairman of the ruling party «law and Justice» Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who, in his opinion, responsible for the crisis, «to explain to the poles what really is it (the law – ed.) and why the PiS acts against the interests of the state.»

This law is still at the stage of parliamentary work on the project has caused sharp negative reaction in Ukraine, in Israel, in the United States.

In tel Aviv, in particular, fear that the law may strike at the Jews who have suffered at the hands of the inhabitants of Poland and want to talk about it.

State Department spokesman Heather Nauert explained the concern that «if this bill is implemented, it could undermine freedom of speech and academic discourse». She urged Poland «to overestimate the bill in the light of its potential impact on the principles of freedom of speech and our effective partnership.»

In accordance with this document, the penalty of a fine or deprivation of liberty for a term up to three years threatens the use of the expression «Polish death camps» and other statements that can be interpreted as an attempt to put the poles complicit in the crimes of Nazi Germany, including the genocide of European Jewry. The same punishment by the law for the promotion of the ideology of Bandera and the denial of the Volyn massacre during the war Ukrainian nationalists.

According to the law, punishment shall be imposed on one who «publicly contrary to the facts denies» the enumerated crimes.

At the stage of discussion of the bill the Ukrainian nationalist party «Svoboda» demanded from the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko publicly to condemn it and dismiss the head of the foreign Ministry Pavel Klimkin «for another failure of Russian diplomacy».

In turn, Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister, President and foreign Ministry have already expressed their disagreement with the law and demanded him to reconsider, accusing the authors ‘ attempt at historical truth.

Israeli memorial complex «Yad Vashem», the world’s largest centre for the study of the history of the Holocaust and commemorate its victims, has promised to continue to investigate the «hard facts» about the attitude of poles towards Jews during the Second world war, despite the limitations imposed by Warsaw.