Polish Holocaust Bill: There is a fine line between remembering the horrors of the Holocaust and allowing a people to move past it. Poland has chosen this legislation and perhaps should be respected.
Opinion: Righty V
The nightmare which was the holocaust would rise and fall in Poland and would mark one of the bloodiest, and most cruel time periods ever recorded. Poland was probably one of the few countries in World War Two to be completely and utterly destroyed both in terms of their cities, people and their worldly possessions.
In September 1939, Nazi and Russian forces invaded, conquered, occupied and committed countless atrocities upon the Polish people. The Poles as they are more commonly known would endure what no group of people in recent times had ever endured and eventually would survive and rebuild their identity.
Both Nazi Germany and their Russian counterparts would inflict massive death and carnage upon the soul of Poland leaving a scar no surgeon could ever hope to heal.
Once Nazi Germany and the U.S.S.R parted ways with the Nazis pushing the U.S.S.R out of Poland completely, Hitler would be able to put his vision for a Aryan Nation into full throttle with the acceleration of the final solution.
Concentration camps and the now infamous “Death Camps” such as Auschwitz in Southern Poland would start to spot the Polish countryside like a cancer, destroying millions of lives as the final solution marched unopposed.
The Polish were victims through and through and history you would think makes this very clear.
However, this is not necessarily the case as terminology to describe what happened in Poland would skirt some responsibility away from Nazi Germany.
The Polish death camps and Polish Nazi collaborators have become a sore spot for Poland as they try to put this history behind them and forge on into the new 21st Century, free from association with Nazi Germany.
These racist policies and “death” camps were designed, and paid for by German marks and the blood of Polish and other slave labor. Not by Polish collaborators or the Polish Government which were in exile in France then Britain for most of the war.
Branding Poles whom may have helped the Nazis in various ways as collaborators uses the wrong terminology. Most synonyms for collaborators paint a picture of mutual agreement in pursuit of a common goal, and the final solution was far from that.
I doubt that Poles would have started implementing Nazi Ideology if the Nazis had not conquered them.
Therefore, Poles whom have been branded as collaborators, should be treated as a coerced people desperate to survive who admittedly betrayed their own people to do so.
For the most part, Poles resisted the Nazis and the branding of collaborator has been over and miss-used regardless of the consensus of their existence.
Poland after many decades of trying to correct these misperceptions are attempting to force the issue to dissociate itself from the activities of Nazi Germany. What are known as Polish Death Camps, Poles and others will argue unfairly associate Poland with the atrocities committed against its own people, when nothing could be further from the truth.
The camps are only referred to as Polish death camps because they were built in Poland. These were Nazi death camps and should be labelled as such to ensure that only the Nazis are associated with the implementation of the Holocaust.
American military bases in foreign countries are referred to as such and not as Afghan military bases or Iraqi bases or Japanese bases.
While most of the world including the U.S. agree that the terms Polish death camps and Polish collaboration are hurtful and misrepresent history, they are critical of the way the Polish President Andrzej Duda is combating these misrepresentations through the Polish Holocaust Bill.
Hindering free speech was a Nazi policy and perhaps combating the memory of Nazism through suppression of free speech may be counter intuitive, validating aspects of Nazi policies.
Lessons learned from this time period and others similar to it, should remain to protect freedom at all cost. Nazi Germany did not go from a nation rebuilding after World War One to a full scale final solution over night, no it was gradual, with small steps taking the German people a bit further away from the moral line bit by bit.
So, while the world supports Polish complaints of World War Two terminology, the worries are of those small steps taking the Polish people a bit further away from freedom and what countless Polish died to protect.
Conclusion: Polish Holocaust Bill and its Deterrence
With the signing of the Polish Holocaust Bill which comes into effect in a couple of weeks it will be prohibited to reference Polish or Poland when referring to any death or concentration camp. In addition, making reference to Polish collaboration with Nazi’s is also now illegal enforced through fines and imprisonment.
While the Bill contains other caveats, it is these major attributes which are being condemned by Israel and a few other countries such as France and the United States.
These voices of opposition are urging a more tempered response such as vigorous educational program rather than restrictions on free speech.
It is a bit ironic, to imprison someone for referring to imprisonment camps which they are seeking to banish from their history. One can only hope this irony is not lost on the Polish as they implement this law.
But the question remains, does Poland have the free right to determine its own laws?
History may say no, as world powers are known to make their ideology the norm.
We will have to see if this law is more symbolic and whether charges brought against offenders of it are successfully prosecuted and which punishments are pushed.
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