Poland waters down Holocaust law
In an expedited procedure Poland has watered down a controversial lawthat made the claim that the Polish state or Polish citizens were perpetrators in the Holocaust a punishable offence. Prison sentences will no longer apply. Israel was particularly vocal in its condemnation of the law. Commentators are at odds over whether it's a good idea to punish certain interpretations of history.
No prison sentences for alternative views
Commentator Anton Orech makes the case in Echo of Moscow for interpretations of history not to be subject to sanctions:
“In our country as well similar laws apply, the state combats the so-called 'distortion of history'. ... But it's one thing when someone says Hitler gassed the Jews and he was right to do so. Anyone who says this is a scumbag with the views of fascists, Nazis and racists. ... The propagating of such ideas should be punished. When, however, the causes of historical events and assessments of the scale of a disaster are being discussed, there can be different views. There are no absolute truths here. And we certainly shouldn't lock people up just for having an alternative view. ... In my opinion it's legitimate to punish people for endorsing violence - but not for endorsing doubt.”
The truth could not be defended
Part of the electorate may disapprove of the PiS's decision to water down the "Holocaust law", wPolityce.pl writes:
“Unfortunately one is forced to admit that we have backed down in the face of Israel's opposition and are too weak to push this law through in our own country. A law that in our opinion serves the fight for historical truth, and which they claim is anti-Semitic. The Israeli media have taken note of the change, and given it the thumbs-up. That brings us closer to an end to the conflict. Nevertheless, the government's image could suffer at home. Today those who oppose the law - and the government - are delighted. The opposition is celebrating. But those who wanted to join hands with the government in the fight for truth - those who believed that the most important thing was to defend the truth in the name of our forefathers - don't understand what has happened.”