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German Foreign Office comments on Polish law on WWII
09:56, 4 February 2018
German Foreign Office comments on Polish law on WWII

The Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs said that there was no doubt that first of all the Germans are responsible for concentration camps and the “individual collaborationists don’t change anything”

09:56, 4 February 2018

Open source

Germany isn’t trying to shift even a part of blame for mass murders of Jews onto Poland, but the only way to reconciliation is through reviewing one’s own history, as German Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel said in a statement, commenting on the amendments that the Polish Parliament made in the law on the Institute of National Remembrance.

‘We are convinced that only a thorough review of one’s own history can bring to a reconciliation. This means that the people who had to go through the unbearable suffering of Holocaust can speak about these sufferings openly and without restrictions,” the German minister said.

He assured Poland that any falsification of history and the term “Polish concentration camps” meet the decisive condemnation in German society.

Related: OSCE calls on Duda to veto law banning “Bandera ideology”

Gabriel also noted that a comprehensive analysis of the German history and its responsibility is an “eternal moral duty for the Germans, taking into account the crimes committed by Germans and Germany, including in Poland”.

He said there was no doubt who is responsible for death camps and who exploited and killed millions of Jews there - these were Germans. “This organized mass murder was started by our country and no one else, and the individual collaborationists don’t change anything”.

He also said that for 15 years he was organizing trips to the memorials in former concentration camps in Auschwitz and Majdanek and it was clear that these were German concentration camps, which were there not by an accident.

Related: Israeli parliament can recognize Polish law banning ‘Bandera ideology’ as denial of Holocaust

As we reported earlier, On Friday, Jan. 26, the Sejm of Poland has adopted the amendment to the law on the Institute of National Memory, which bans the so-called “Bandera ideology”. The bill envisages criminal penalty for publicly accusing Poland of crimes committed during Holocaust, of helping Nazi Germany, of military crimes or crimes against humanity. The bill forbids to use the phrase “Polish death camp” when describing concentration camps that were on the territory of Poland. Any citizen of the country, including foreigners that breached the law will have to pay a fine or imprisoned for up to three years.

Amendments to the bill also provide for criminal liability for the denial of the Volyn tragedy and propaganda of "Bandera ideology". The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the adoption of this document. The international community criticized it as "denying the Holocaust and depicting Ukrainians in an unattractive light." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he was categorically against the adoption of this law.

Related: Poroshenko: Polish law banning “Bandera ideology” contradicts partnership principles

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