Polish president to sign Holocaust rhetoric bill and refer it for judicial review


(JTA) — President Andrzej Duda of Poland said he would sign a controversial bill limiting rhetoric on atrocities committed in his country during World War II, but added that he would refer the measure for review by a constitutional court.

Duda made the announcement at a news conference Tuesday in Warsaw about the bill passed by the lower and upper houses of the Polish parliament. It criminalizes blaming the Polish state or nation of crimes and atrocities that the bill says were perpetrated exclusively by Nazis during their occupation of Poland.

“I have decided that I will sign the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance and I will refer it to the Constitutional Tribunal,” Duda said.

The bill becomes a law with Duda’s signature.

International Jewish groups and the highest levels of the Israeli government have condemned the measure, suggesting it whitewashes the actions of some Poles who are responsible for killing Jews during the Holocaust.

The bill was submitted following many years in which Polish officials protested the use of the term “Polish death camps” to describe facilities set up on Polish soil by German Nazis.

Poles and non-Polish citizens who violate the law could be fine or imprisoned for up to three years.

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