Poland's Prime Minister says he plans to revise his country's controversial Holocaust law

The law made it an imprisonable offence to describe Nazi death camps as Polish


Poland’s Prime Minister appears to have backed down over controversial new Holocaust legislation by claiming he plans to amend the law that has angered Israel and America.

The planned new bill would have seen anyone who suggested Poland was responsible for Nazi crimes facing a prison term.

Poland was attacked and occupied by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Millions of its citizens were killed, including three million Jews – about half of those who perished in the Holocaust.

The country has long objected to the use of phrases like "Polish death camps", which suggest the Polish state in some way shared responsibility for the Holocaust.

Earlier this year Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki tweeted that "Auschwitz-Birkenau is not a Polish name, and Arbeit Macht Frei is not a Polish phrase".

The change in the law was intended to distance the Polish people from any suggestion of culpability.

But the move has provoked an international outcry, particularly in Israel and the USA.

In February Mr Morawiecki said the outcry showed the world was biased against Poland.

However, he has now called on the lower house of parliament to remove the imposed jail terms from the bill, as politicians begin debating the issue today.

“We resign from the criminal provisions,” the head of prime minister’s office, Michal Dworczyk, told public radio.

The government said that following a public debate on the bill, it had decided that there were other “tools” it could use to “protect Poland’s good name”.

In April, a fringe nationalist group asked prosecutors to investigate if Israeli President Reuven Rivlin broke the law during a speech in Poland.

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