PM says anti-Polish sentiment has gained in power: report
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s prime minister has said international criticism of his country’s new anti-defamation law has exposed a rising tide of anti-Polish sentiment, according to the Bloomberg news agency.
PM Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara
Mateusz Morawiecki said the new legislation, criticised by Israel and the United States, was necessary to defend Poland’s honor and image, Bloomberg reported.
“Anti-Polonism around the world has been gaining in power because of a lack of reaction from Poland and the weakness of this reaction for the last 10 years,” Morawiecki was cited by the agency as saying in an interview.
Israel reacted with anger after the Polish parliament passed an anti-defamation law which could impose a jail term on anyone who accuses Poland of being complicit in Nazi German crimes during the Holocaust in World War II.
The law was signed into force by President Andrzej Duda, who also sent it to Poland’s constitutional court for clarification.
‘Complete misunderstanding’ of history
Bloomberg cited Morawiecki as saying in an interview with the agency in Warsaw: “Some people are saying that Poles were worse than Nazis,” which is a “complete misrepresentation, complete misunderstanding of the history of what has happened on Polish soil.”
The Bloomberg article was headlined “Poland’s Message to World in Holocaust Dispute: It’s You, Not Us”.
In Poland, the new anti-defamation law is seen as a way of fighting the use of the phrase “Polish death camps,” which many say implies the country's involvement in the Holocaust.
Poland has long fought the use of such phrases, which have often appeared in foreign media in relation to Nazi German-run extermination camps located on occupied Polish territory during World War II.
But commentators have said that Israel is concerned that the new law could mean penalties for anyone who criticises individual Poles' role in the Holocaust.
The new Polish rules say academic researchers and artists are exempt from penalties.
Public broadcaster Polish Radio has launched a new website, GermanDeathCamps.info, aimed at debunking misconceptions about Poland’s role in the Holocaust.