10:27 GMT29 February 2020
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    The Deputy Prime Minister of Poland has lashed out at the opposition accusing them of using rhetoric aimed at dehumanising the ruling party.

    Polish Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Glinski, who also serves as the country's minister of culture, lashed out at the country's opposition, accusing it of using the same methods as the Nazis used against Jews in the 20th century.

    "The language toward Law and Justice is to exclude, annihilate, dehumanise, delegitimise, as Jews were treated by Goebbels," Glinski said in an interview for the newspaper Wprost on Monday.

    Paul Joseph Goebbels was a Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. During the Nazi occupation of Poland, 457 concentration and extermination camps were established in the country, including Auschwitz, Chelmno, Treblinka and Sobibor, among others.

    The ruling Law and Justice party of Poland has been under fire from both internal opposition and EU officials alike. The opposition has criticised the party's reforms, which give the government more control over the judicial system and the press.

    The party has also been criticised by the EU after it ordered a legal examination to determine whether EU legislation is 'compatible' with Polish national laws.

    Besides, the group has also been accused of silently supporting right-wing movements after Poland's president Andrzej Duda announced an Independence Day March that took the same route as a nationalist march, banned by the mayor of Warsaw.

    European Comission President Donald Tusk, himself a former prime minister of Poland, and a long-time opponent of Duda, has warned the Law and Justice Party that Poland may be excluded from the EU over its policies, and called on the government to 'come to their senses'.

    Earlier this year, Poland's Senate passed controversial legislation that outlawed blaming Poland for any crimes committed during the Holocaust, sparking a diplomatic crisis with Israel. Many Jews claimed at the time that the legislation was designed to whitewash complicity in the Holocaust by locals and would interfere with historical research, Haaretz recalls. In fact, the controversy of Polish involvement in Nazi crimes is an issue that has poisoned bilateral ties for years, The New York Times says, and years of diplomatic improvements have been nullified because of this law.

    The law was later watered down, removing criminal penalties for violators and settling the diplomatic crisis with Tel Aviv. Warsaw acknowledges that individual Poles did collaborate with the Nazis against their Jewish neighbours, but insists that assigning blame to the whole country is unwarranted.

    rhetoric, opposition, Holocaust, Polish Law and Justice Political Party (PiS), Piotr Glinski, Joseph Goebbels, Israel, Poland
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