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First lawsuit filed under new Polish ‘Holocaust Law’

A Polish agency filed a lawsuit against an Argentinian newspaper that used Polish soldiers to illustrate an article on the 1941 Jedwabne pogrom.

Part of a core exhibition dedicated to the Jedwabne pogrom at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Part of a core exhibition dedicated to the Jedwabne pogrom at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

A Polish campaign group has filed the first legal action under the new Polish “Holocaust Law” that criminalizes any suggestion that Poland took part in crimes against the Jewish people during World War II.

The Polish League Against Defamation is suing Argentina’s Página/12 daily newspaper for using a photograph of Polish soldiers who fought against Communists after the war to illustrate an article on the Jedwabne pogrom of 1941, in which Nazis and local Poles massacred at least 340 Jews.

“The combination of these two threads: information about the crime on Jews in Jedwabne during the German occupation and the presentation of fallen soldiers of the independence underground is manipulation, an act to the detriment of the Polish nation,” the organization said in a statement.

Página claimed not to have received any legal notice, only discovering the suit from the international news.

Approximately 3 million Polish Jews were murdered by the Nazis—about half of all Jews exterminated in the Holocaust.

While thousands of Poles risked their lives to protect Jews during the war, some of the largest and most known Nazi extermination camps, including Auschwitz, Sobibor, Treblinka and Majdanek, were located in Poland.

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