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Facts about the Polish Holocaust bill

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Polish Holocaust bill
Uncontroversial facts about the bill (Druk nr 806), known as Polish Holocaust bill, that was voted through by Polish lower house on Jan 26th, 2018. The bill was subject to a critique from Israel's Ambasador to Poland, Anna Azari.
  1. The first draft of the bill is from Feb 17th, 2016. The bill is as an amendment to an existing law1.
  2. The work on the bill has started on March 1st, 2016. The draft was available in public since that date2.
  3. In a radio interview Anna Azari did not deny that: A) she meet representatives of Government 3 times, between March 1st, 2016 and Jan 26th, 2018; B) on 30th of August, in the context of the bill, she expressed Israeli position by saying that passing the law in such a form could cause a situation in which it would be impossible to conduct research on the Holocaust3.
  4. The bill entered the lower house on August 30th, 2016 and was voted through on January 26th, 20184
  5. When the bill entered the lower house it already included paragraph (Article 55a. clause 3) protecting the freedom of scientific and artistic activities5.
  6. On January 27th, in her speech during the celebrations of the 73rd Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz, Anna Azari surprisingly criticised the bill. She said Israel treats it as an act opening the way to punishing of Holocaust survivors for their testimony6.
  7. When asked about timing of her comments Anna Azari said that initially, she had something different to say, but she was given instructions from Israeli PM just before the event and she had to follow the instructions7


Article 55a

  1. Who, in public and against the facts, ascribes to the Polish Nation or to the Polish State responsibility for or complicity in the Nazi crimes committed by the German Third Reich defined in art. 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal attached to the International Agreement on the prosecution and punishment of major war criminals of the European Axis, signed in London on August 8, 1945 (Journal of Laws of 1947 item 367) or for other crimes against peace, humanity or war crimes or otherwise grossly reduce the responsibility of the actual perpetrators of these crimes, shall be subject to a fine or a penalty of imprisonment of up to 3 years. The judgment is made public.
  2. If the perpetrator of the act referred to in clause 1 acts unintentionally, he is subject to fine or restriction of liberty.
  3. The perpetrator of the prohibited act specified in clauses 1 and 2, is not committing an offence if he or she commits such an act as part of artistic or scientific activities.
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