By VANESSA GERA
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A diplomatic dispute between Poland and Israel over pending legislation that would outlaw blaming Poland for the crimes of the Holocaust has led to an outburst of anti-Semitic comments in Poland, including some in the government-controlled media.
Poland’s lower house of parliament gave its approval Friday to the bill, which calls for penalties of up to three years in prison for anyone who “publicly and against the facts” accuses the Polish people of crimes committed by Nazi Germany during World War II.
Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party says the law is meant to fight expressions like “Polish death camps,” to refer to the wartime camps that Nazi Germany operated in occupied Poland. Poles were among those imprisoned, tortured and killed in the camps, and many today feel Poles are being unfairly depicted as perpetrators of the Holocaust.
As part of the same effort, the government launched a website on Tuesday in Polish, German and English with documentary evidence that death camps like Auschwitz were built and operated by Nazi Germany, a historically accurate account.