08:32 GMT +319 February 2019
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    People walk between barb wire fences in the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz as thousands of people, mostly youth from all over the world, gather for the annual March of the Living during Holocaust Remembrance Day in Oswiecim, Poland April 24, 2017.

    Poland Rolls Out Social Media Campaign to Justify New Holocaust Bill (VIDEO)

    © REUTERS / Agencja Gazeta/Jakub Porzycki
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    Last month, Poland’s Parliament voted in favor of a bill that would make it illegal to accuse Poland of complicity in Nazi crimes during World War II. The Polish government also recently launched a new social media campaign to defend its controversial law.

    The Polish government has uploaded videos on YouTube and other websites that illustrate the suffering of both Polish and Jewish people during Nazi Germany's occupation of Poland.

    In one of the videos, a 91-year-old Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor who was part of Poland's Home Army, the dominant Polish resistance movement formed in 1942 during the German occupation of the country, describes her experience.

    "The way in which we were treated is indescribable. I could not believe when I heard that these were ‘Polish death camps.' Those camps were German camps," Adamkiewicz says in the video as somber music plays. "If I could fight for the truth, I would use my cane, because I have to walk with my cane now."

    The video, which currently has more than 2.8 million views, is linked in the Twitter account of the Polish Prime Minister's Office.

    Poland also set up an information website called "German Death Camps" which includes testimonies from Polish people who suffered in camps established by the Third Reich, as Nazi Germany styled itself, on Polish soil during the 1939 to 1945 occupation.

    A newly-created Twitter account named "United Against Defamation" has also been posting Israeli and Jewish articles reinforcing Poland's new law. The account's profile photo features intertwined Israeli and Polish flags.

    The Twitter profile includes a blurb stating, "We protect the truth about Holocaust. We fight against undermining the role of Germany's responsibility for the extermination of Jews during WWII."

    The new law, signed by Polish President Andrzej Duda, makes it a crime punishable by up to three years behind bars to claim that the "Polish state" was to blame or took part in Nazi crimes. The law also allows the Institute of National Remembrance, a research organization that specializes in the legal and historic examination of Poland, to demand compensation from any individual or organization that "falsifies" Polish history. 

    Since the passing of Poland's bill, tensions between Israel and Poland have increased.

    According to Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, "The past can't be rewritten — the Polish people were involved in the murder of Jews," Jerusalem Online reported.

    Last week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson condemned Poland's new legislation in a statement.

    "The US is disappointed that the president of Poland has signed legislation that would impose criminal penalties for attributing Nazi crimes to the Polish state," Tillerson said.

    "We understand this law will be referred to Poland's Constitutional Tribunal. Enactment of this law adversely affects freedom of speech and academic inquiry," Tillerson added.


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    concentration camps, holocaust, Nazi, Germany, Poland
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