U.S. 'disappointed' after Polish president signs controversial Holocaust law

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"Yes, the death camps in Poland were built and operated by the Germans, and we can not allow them to evade responsibility for these actions", Bennett said.

At least 3 million Polish Jews and 1.9 million non-Jewish citizens were killed during the Holocaust, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The United States also strongly opposes the legislation, saying it could hurt Poland's strategic relations with Israel and the U.S.

Poland has canceled Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett's visit this week because of Bennett's reaction to the measure. It is unclear whether the PiS controlled Constitutional Tribunal will call for changes.

"The government of Poland canceled my visit, because I mentioned the crimes of its people".

Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, says Poland has made an "issue" out of its people's actions during the Holocaust and is denying the truth.

Other Israeli government officials said the bill amounted to Holocaust denialism.

Poland's ruling Law and Justice party vowed to push through a law regulating public statements about the country's Holocaust experience soon after it came to power in 2015.

Slawomir Neumann of the centrist Civic Platform party accused Duda of giving in to the pressure of nationalists and anti-Semites and said his signing "deepens the diplomatic crisis".




Moreover, whilst the concentration camps were the site where Jewish people were killed in the millions, the murdering of Poles of Christian and other denominations (numbering in the hundreds of thousands) should not be discounted or forgotten.

Duda confirmed Tuesday he will sign into law a proposal to impose prison terms for statements blaming Poland for World War II crimes committed by Nazi Germany.

The infamous German inscription that reads "Work Makes Free" at the main gate of the Auschwitz I extermination camp in Oswiecim, Poland, on November 15, 2014. Bennett was supposed to head this week to Poland to meet the Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jaroslaw Gowin.

"This may sound provocative, but I think you couldn't have survived on this land without the help of a Polish family", he continued.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denounced the bill as a "distortion of the truth, the rewriting of history and the denial of the Holocaust".

But he said the Polish state bore no responsibility because it ceased to exist following the invasion by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

The Polish government says it aims to stop the Polish nation or state being blamed for the atrocities. There are things that have been said and done on both sides - including by Israeli politicians who said that there were Polish camps - which haven't been helpful. That's the truth. I agreed to a dialogue based on the truth.

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