A Polish appeals court has backed Jewish News after a Polish nationalist sued this newspaper for not saying “German Nazis” in an article.
Mira Wszelaka, who once headed the Polish League Against Defamation, sued over a 2017 article using a new Polish law that criminalises references to Polish complicity in the Holocaust.
She had wanted to change Jewish News reporting to include the information that “Poles did not murder, but saved Jews during the Holocaust”. She also wanted the Nazi camps in Poland to be called “German” camps, even though the newspaper did not refer to “Polish extermination camps” or “Polish Nazis”.
Andrzej Tomaszek, who represented Jewish News, said even the Polish press used the term “Nazi camps” without the adjective “German.”
He added that Jewish News’ article did not suggest that Poles killed Jews or confiscated Jewish property.
The District Court in Warsaw sided with Jewish News on 16 May last year but Wszelaka appealed. This week the Appeals Court also sided with newspaper.
“We cannot expect global media to present a full picture of events every time,” said Judge Bernard Chazan, adding that the appeal court’s decision was final.
Jewish News editor Richard Ferrer said: “This lawsuit was unsuccessful if designed to intimidate the press in its reporting of the Holocaust in Poland.
“Two Polish courts have now said that if the reporting is fair and accurate, it cannot be criminal.”