Volodymyr Viatrovych, the director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, thinks that discussing historic issues with Ukrainians in Poland becomes impossible because of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance act, which provides criminal liability for denying the Massacres of Poles in Volyn and Eastern Galicia and “banderist ideology” propaganda. Volodymyr Viatrovych said that in his comments to the 112 Ukraine TV Channel.
“This act actually puts a period to the opportunities of conducting discussions at least in Poland, of conducting decent discussions among historians to define reasons, consequences and degrees of the conflict. The political assessment of these events is captured by the act. Besides, this act provides a punishment for the attempt to reconsider this political assessment somehow, by historians in particular,” – he said.
As we reported earlier, Andrzej Duda, the President of Poland, signed revisions to the Polish Institute of National Remembrance act, which provide criminal liability for denying the Massacres of Poles in Volyn and propaganda of “banderite ideology”.
The Act provides criminal liability for the public charges against Poland for crimes, committed during the Holocaust, supported by Nazi Germany, for military crimes or crimes against humanity. The act prohibits from using the phrase “Polish death camp” when describing a concentration camp, which existed in occupied Poland. Every citizen of the country and every foreigner, violating the law, will be sentenced to pay fines or to three years in prison.
Moreover, this act prohibits oneself from denying the Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia and “banderite ideology” propaganda.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the world community criticized the act as it “denies Holocaust and represents Ukrainians in a bad light”.
As it was reported earlier the Senate of Poland adopted a law on the National Memory Institute of Poland, which criminalizes the denial of the crimes of Ukrainian nationalists against the Poles. Polish Sejm on January 26 adopted the bill, providing criminal penalty for public accusations of Poland of crimes during Holocaust, of helping Nazi Germany, of military crimes or crimes against humanity. The bill forbids to use combination of words “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.
The U.S. State Department urged Poland on Wednesday to re-evaluate the draft law on the Institute of National Memory, expressing concern about consequences on Warsaw’s relations with the United States and Israel if the draft becomes law. The bill has triggered a diplomatic spat between Israel and Warsaw’s conservative government since its initial approval in the lower house of parliament last week, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu comparing it to an effort to change history.