Warsaw (AFP) – Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Sunday called on Poles to refrain from making anti-Semitic statements at a time when the country is under fire over a controversial Holocaust law.
The new law sets fines or a maximum three-year jail term for anyone ascribing “responsibility or co-responsibility to the Polish nation or state for crimes committed by the German Third Reich — or other crimes against humanity and war crimes” and set off criticism from Israel, the United States and France.
“I would like to invite every one of you to contribute to positive thinking… to avoid anti-Semitic statements, because they are grist to the mill for our enemies, for our adversaries,” Morawiecki said at a town hall meeting in the eastern city of Chelm.
The main aim of the Holocaust law is to prevent people from erroneously describing Nazi German death camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau as Polish, simply because they were set up on Polish soil.
Poland was attacked and occupied by Nazi Germany in World War II, losing six million of its citizens including three million Jews.