Polish President Andrzej Duda said Tuesday he will sign a law that would penalize suggestions of Polish blame for Nazi crimes committed inside the country during the Holocaust.
The law imposes fines and jail time on anyone calling the Nazi slaughter of Jews during World War II a “Polish crime,” or Nazi death camps “Polish death camps.” Some of the worst Nazi atrocities were committed on Polish soil.
Duda said he will also consult with Poland’s constitutional court for review.
He previously called Poland a victim of Nazi terror, saying six million Poles and three million Jews were murdered by German invaders. He acknowledged that some “wicked” Poles collaborated with the Nazis, but others, including Poland’s exiled wartime government, resisted Hitler’s reign of terror.
Israeli officials have voiced strong objections to the law, saying it is an attempt to rewrite history.
Poland has canceled Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s visit this week because of Bennett’s reaction to the measure.
“The blood of Polish Jews cries from the ground, and no law will silence it,” Bennett said Monday. “The government of Poland canceled my visit because I mentioned the crimes of its people. I am honored.”
Bennett was to have visited Poland Wednesday, and would have been the first senior Israeli official to meet with Polish officials since the controversy over the new law erupted last week.
Bennett said only a small number of Poles risked their lives to save Jews during the war.