Poland is in the hot seat after announcing plans to criminalize the phrase "Polish death camp" prompting Israel to accuse the nation of being in denial of history.
The number of Jews murdered in camps run by Nazi Germany is highly disputed, some experts disagree with the widely accepted figure of 6 million saying that the actual number may be less than a million.
Regardless of the actual number, it is an indisputable fact that massive numbers of Jews were killed during WWII. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Poland's plan to criminalize the phrase "Polish death camp" amounts to denial.
Netanyahu said Saturday he strongly opposes the Polish draft law that stipulates fines and even three years in jail for anyone who refers to Nazi German death camps as Polish. "The law is baseless," Netanyahu said.
He added that he told his ambassador to convey Israel's objection to Mateusz Morawiecke, prime minister of Poland. Israel's education and diaspora minister, Naftali Bennett, also added her voice to the objections of Netanyahu.
Bennett said Poland's right-wing parliament is perpetrating a "shameful disregard of the truth" that goes beyond the "historic fact that Germans initiated, planned and built the work and death camps in Poland."
"It is a historic fact that many Poles aided in the murder of Jews, handed them in, abused them, and even killed Jews during and after the Holocaust." Bennett added that what happened "must be taught to the next generation."
The person responsible for the new legislation is Polish Deputy Justice Minister Paryk Jaki who claims that Poles were "co-responsible" for the Holocaust was "proof of how necessary this bill is."
Joanna Kopcinsk, a Polish government spokeswoman, tweeted that the bill sought "to show the truth about the terrible crimes committed on Poles, Jews, and other nations that in the 20th century were victims of brutal totalitarian regimes – German Nazi regime and Soviet communism."
Poland often requested global media and foreign politicians correct their statements when they use the term "Polish death camps" to refer to such sites as Auschwitz, where countless Jews were killed.
Yad Vashem of the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Tel Aviv said the phrase was a "historical misrepresentation." Vashem also warned the bill would "blur historical truths regarding assistance the Germans received from the Polish population during the Holocaust."
Critics of the bill say that such a law would be impossible to enforce outside of Poland and would have a chilling effect on debating history within the country and stifle research.
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