German Chancellor Angela Merkel today dodged a question, put forward by a student, regarding Poland’s new Holocaust law, refusing to comment on whether or not it restricted the freedom of speech for Poles.
The law makes it illegal to suggest Poles were at all responsible for the Holocaust and, in particular, makes the utterance of expressions such as ‘Polish death camps’ punishable by up to three years in jail.
Merkel said the following concerning (or rather not concerning) this law:
‘Without directly interfering in the legislation in Poland, I would like to say the following very clearly as German chancellor: we as Germans are responsible for what happened during the Holocaust, the Shoah, under National Socialism.’
Other countries across the world have not held back in criticising this law which denies Poles the right to question the historical narrative.
Indeed, the US has warned the law ‘could undermine free speech in Poland and academic discourse,’ whilst an Israeli minister has branded it ‘de facto Holocaust denial.’