The Polish attorney general’s office described as partly unconstitutional a law passed last month that criminalises blaming Poland for Nazi crimes.
Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro published a statement on the law Thursday. The nonbinding opinion has no immediate legal consequences, but may be taken into account by the Constitutional Court in reviewing the law.
The legislation, which was enacted earlier this month, imposes fines or up to three years in jail on anyone who ascribes “responsibility or co-responsibility to the Polish nation or state for crimes committed by the German Third Reich.”
The attorney general’s office published its statement on the website of the Constitutional Court, which was tasked by the president with checking into the constitutionality of the law, the French news agency AFP reported. President Andrzej Duda signed the legislation last month after it was overwhelmingly passed by both houses of the legislature.
The office said that penalising acts committed abroad independently of the laws in place there was against the Constitution, which opposes “excessive interference.” It added that the law was “dysfunctional,” could have “opposite results than those intended” and could “undermine the Polish state’s authority.”
The law’s passing prompted a crisis in Poland’s relations with Israel, the United States and Ukraine. Critics of the law include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called it “baseless.” Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, warned it was detrimental to debate accurate research of the genocide. And Israeli politicians, including the opposition lawmaker Yair Lapid, said it whitewashes what they called Polish complicity in the Holocaust – an allegation many Poles find offensive and that the Polish government rejects.
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.