Historians fear ‘censorship’ under Poland’s Holocaust lawHistorians in the News
tags: Holocaust, Poland, genocide, WWII
A new law in Poland that threatens those who say that Poles played any part in the Holocaust with up to three years in prison will create an atmosphere of “inner censorship” for the country’s historians, reminiscent of its communist past, critics have warned.
Poland has been internationally condemned over the law, which some historians say attempts to whitewash broad swathes of Polish history.
It is the latest example of creeping historical censorship in eastern Europe, where rising nationalist tensions are leading to fresh rows over the past, particularly about the Second World War.
In Poland, the key clash is between historians who have uncovered evidence of Polish complicity in atrocities against Jews and the government line that Poles were victims, who nevertheless helped to shelter Jews from Nazi persecution.
The Warsaw-based Polish Centre for Holocaust Research described the law as an “unprecedented (and unknown in a democratic system) intrusion into the debate about the Polish history”, but said that its work would not be stopped by the legislation. ...
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