“The train has already left”: Poland adopted a law against “Bandera ideology”

MOSCOW, 1 Feb — RIA Novosti. Poland after adoption of the law on criminal liability for propaganda of the ideology of Ukrainian nationalists, the denial of the Volyn massacre and allegations of complicity of poles with the Nazis during the Second world war can quarrel with Ukraine and Israel. Tel Aviv and Kiev sharply condemned the recent Polish legislative initiative.

The Israeli foreign Ministry described it as an attempt to challenge the historical truth, and Minister of intelligence of Israel, and all called to recall its Ambassador from Warsaw. In the Verkhovna Rada said that Poland has crossed the “red line” in good relations with Kiev, and Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko called the law unacceptable. Concern with the Polish law on the Holocaust expressed the United States. Despite this, the Polish foreign Ministry believe that the law of the Holocaust does not limit freedom of speech and scientific activities.
Poland is fighting the falsification of history

The Polish Senate last night passed a law on criminal liability for propaganda of the ideology of Ukrainian nationalists, the denial of the Volyn massacre and allegations of complicity of poles with the Nazis during the Second world war. For the bill voted by 57 senators, mostly of the ruling party “law and Justice” (PiS), 23 voted against and two abstained. The law will take effect after it is signed by the President Andrzej Duda.

In accordance with this document, the penalty of a fine or deprivation of liberty for a term up to three years threatens the use of the expression “Polish death camps” and other statements that can be interpreted as an attempt to put the poles complicit in the crimes of Nazi Germany, including the genocide of European Jewry. The same punishment by the law for the promotion of the ideology of Bandera and the denial of the Volyn massacre during the war Ukrainian nationalists.

Largest Polish opposition party “Civic platform” called the President of Poland Andrzej Duda to veto the law on the Holocaust, said the Deputy Chairman of the party, Tomas Samonac reporters on Thursday in Warsaw.

“We are dealing with the most serious crisis in the Polish foreign policy after 1989,” said Samonac. He “on behalf of the Civic platform and the democratic community of Poland” urged President Andrzej Duda to impose on the veto law.

He also called on the Chairman of the ruling party “law and Justice” Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who, in his opinion, responsible for the crisis, “to explain to the poles what really is it (the law), and why the PiS acts against the interests of the state.”

The Polish foreign Ministry said that the main purpose of the law “to combat all forms of denial and falsification of the truth about the Holocaust, including the reduction of responsibility of the real perpetrators of this crime”.

“In this context, we believe that the public and contrary to the facts and allegations of the Polish people and the Polish state complicity in the … in the Nazi crimes — incorrect, misleading and damaging to victims who are citizens of Poland as of Jewish origin and Polish”, — said in a statement.

In addition, according to the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Poland, law on the Holocaust does not limit freedom of speech and scientific activities.
Israel to recall Ambassador

The Israeli authorities spoke out strongly against the decision of the upper house of the Polish Parliament, which last night approved a bill criminalizing statements about the involvement of poles in crimes during the Second world war, including the genocide of the Jews.

The foreign Ministry of Israel has described the initiative, which will now be submitted for signature of the President, as an attempt to challenge the historical truth.

Israeli Minister of transport and reconnaissance Yisrael Katz called for in connection with the adoption of this bill to withdraw its Ambassador from Poland.

“The Minister of transport and exploration Yisrael Katz called on the Prime Minister and Minister of foreign Affairs Benjamin Netanyahu to order an urgent review into Jerusalem as Israel’s Ambassador in Poland for consultations”, — said the press service of the Minister.

“The law adopted by the Polish Parliament, can have severe consequences. It means a rejection of responsibility and denial of the Polish participation in the Holocaust. In choosing between considerations of foreign policy and moral values, needs to be a clear position: the perpetuation of Holocaust victims should be a priority,” said Katz.
In Kiev believe that Warsaw crossed the “red line”

Strongly opposed to recent Polish legislative initiative, reacted in Kiev.

In recent years, relations between Kiev and Warsaw tensions, mostly on the background of discussions about events that relate to matters of historical memory. In Warsaw, condemned the position of Kiev on the glorification of “the organization of Ukrainian nationalists* Ukrainian insurgent army*” and criticize the regular acts of vandalism against the Polish places of memory in Ukraine.

As the Chairman of the foreign Affairs Committee of the Verkhovna Rada Hanna hopko, Poland crossed the “red line” in good-neighborly relations with Ukraine and “sliding towards dictatorship”.

“Politicizing history, Polish politics are moving “red lines” in the good-neighborly relations with Ukraine, Lithuania, Germany and harm their interests, further increasing the voltage on the line Warsaw-tel Aviv, Warsaw-Brussels,” wrote hopko in Facebook.

According to her, the Ukrainians also have something to remember the poles in matters of history, but Kiev they “forgave and asked for forgiveness”.

“The Republic of Poland from the locomotive and a model of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe slipping into chauvinistic dictates policy over the historical truth, selectively choosing sensitive pages of history”, — said the Deputy.

The President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko called unacceptable the Senate of Poland the law on liability for propaganda of the ideology of Ukrainian nationalists and urged Warsaw to dialogue.

“Deeply concerned by the decision of the Polish Parliament. Historical truth requires Frank conversation and dialogue, not bans. Assessments contained in that decision are absolutely biased and totally unacceptable,” Poroshenko wrote on Facebook on Thursday. According to him, Kyiv remembers this first “total victory and the fight against totalitarian regimes.”

“This bill is inconsistent with the proclaimed principles of the strategic partnership between Ukraine and Poland. Calling for Poland to objectivity and dialogue”, — said the head of state.

For its part, says Director of the Ukrainian Institute of national memory Vladimir vyatrovich, the new law is directed primarily at the Ukrainians living in Poland.

He called “interesting” part of the text of the law, which States that the document is intended to normalize its international relations and to support “a truly democratic community in Ukraine.” “Despite the fact that in Ukraine the law positively perceived as a very Pro-Russian forces, it becomes clear who is going to support Polish policy,” wrote viatrovych in Facebook.

In turn, the Ukrainian parliamentary party “people’s front” called on the Polish President not to sign the amendments to the law on the Institute of national remembrance, which involve the ban of Bandera ideology and was approved by the Polish Senate.
The reaction of the EU and the United States

The United States expressed concern about the bill on the Holocaust in Poland, it can have consequences for relations between the two countries, said state Department spokesman Heather Nauert.

“We are concerned that if this bill is implemented, it could undermine freedom of speech and academic discourse,” — said in a release sent to RIA Novosti written statement Nauert.

“We are also concerned about the impact of the bill, which it is in the case of the implementation will have on the strategic interests and relations of Poland, including with the United States and Israel. The resulting disagreements that may arise among our allies benefit from our rivals,” said Nauert.

“We urge Poland to reevaluate the bill in the light of its potential impact on the principles of freedom of speech and our effective partnership,” she added. Nauert acknowledged that the poles can be insulting expressions like “Polish death camps” to punish for proposed in the bill.

In turn, the head of the European Council, former Prime Minister of Poland Donald Tusk has criticized the Polish authorities for the adoption of the law on liability for allegations of complicity of poles with the Nazis during the Second world war.

“Who spreads false wording about “Polish camps” is hurting the good name and interests of Poland. The authors of the bill presented a dirty libel on the whole world, effectively, as no one before. So, in accordance with the law…” — Tusk wrote on Twitter.
A long strip of misunderstandings

According to Ukrainian political analyst Vadim Karasev, the disagreement of Ukraine and Poland in the issues of historical memory lead to the fact that relations between the two countries will find a long strip of misunderstandings, cracks and contradictions.

“It (the Polish law banning “Bandera ideology”) will not improve the relations between Poland and Ukraine. It is clear that we have entered a long series of misunderstandings, cracks and contradictions in the relations between the two countries, especially in the field of historical policy, national policy. But at this stage this is unlikely to impact significantly on inter-state relations”, — said Karasev, in comments to RIA Novosti on Thursday.

However, according to him, today there are a number of geopolitical factors, in particular, disagreements with Russia that combine Kiev and Warsaw and “can overlap, neutralize, mitigate contradictions” in the field of history and the clash of Polish and Ukrainian nationalism.

Chief editor of the magazine “Russia in global policy” Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on foreign and defense policy Fyodor Lukyanov believes that the law will have a negative impact on the already complex relationship of Warsaw and Kiev, but the immediate political consequences of this will not cause,

“On the relations of Poland and Ukraine, this law will impact badly, of course. And so, in General, quite complicated. And this is not the first actions Polish with an expression of obvious displeasure because of the glorification of certain historical characters in Ukraine. But I don’t think it will result in an immediate political consequences, since there are important connecting factors — the General anti-Russian mood of the Polish and Ukrainian governments. It unites, in spite of these differences,” — said RIA Novosti said.

In General, Poland and Ukraine are trapped in a “series of wars of memory” or historical wars in East Europe for a long time blaze, he added.

“Until now, the main line to counter was Russia and others. That is Russia and the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, who have otherwise interpreted the events of the Second world war… Now we just see how this model, originally conceived as a method of influence on Russia, it applies on a more universal level. Nothing good about it,” — said the expert.

Lukyanov stressed that such laws “is absurd.” “Trying to force a certain way of interpreting historical events — does that make Poland, Ukraine, Israel, Germany or Russia — they are doomed to failure,” — said the expert.

In his opinion, this law is unlikely to result in the withdrawal of Ukrainian Ambassador to Poland.
The train has already left

Israel and the United States reacted to the bill forbidding to accuse poles in the crimes of the Second world war, “100%” true, but belatedly, “after” the rise of historical revisionism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, told RIA Novosti “chief Nazi hunter” Efraim Zuroff.

“The responses of Israel and America is 100% right, but I have to say that they woke up too late. The distortion of Holocaust history is widely practiced in Eastern Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and, unfortunately, nothing was done to counter it in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Croatia”, — said the Agency interlocutor.

“They slept in. I woke up when already know that may have missed the train,” he repeated.

“What the poles are not right, and this is a very problematic aspect: they essentially stifle criticism of crimes committed by some representatives of the Polish people. These crimes were widespread and led to the deaths of many tens of thousands of Jews,” — commented the spokesman of the Polish initiative.

*Banned in Russia as extremist organization