On Friday, the lower house of the Polish Parliament approved a bill that outlaws phrases linking the nation of Poland to the Nazis, such as “Polish death camps.” This bill prescribes potential prison time for using any of these phrases for speaking against the country.
According to World Israel News, this bill is a response to foreign media consistently using the phrase “Polish death camps” when describing the Nazi-run camps located in Poland, such as Auschwitz. In 2012, former president Barack Obama referred to the camps in this way while awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jan Karski, a resistance fighter during the Holocaust.
During the ceremony, Obama said that Karski “served as a courier for the Polish resistance during the darkest days of World War II. Before one trip across enemy lines, resistance fighters told him that Jews were being murdered on a massive scale and smuggled him into the Warsaw Ghetto and a Polish death camp to see for himself. Jan took that information to President Franklin Roosevelt, giving one of the first accounts of the Holocaust and imploring to the world to take action.”
The use of the phrase “Polish death camp” sparked outrage in Poland, forcing Obama to walk it back, with the White House saying the president misspoke.
However, this Polish bill was met with outrage as well. Israeli politician and leader of the Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid slammed the bill, calling it an effort to rewrite history.
Lapid tweeted today: